Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Sibling Dynamic, Part Three

Stoic and strong, she's watchful and wary of her surroundings. She can be just as mischeivous as her brother, but hers is the quieter kind. His trouble is announced to the household by the sound of something breaking, something tumbling over and bumping into the wall. As we do that parenting thing and focus our discipline on him, she's silent in the bathroom, making a mess of the bathroom sink, turning everything into a cup or drawing on the wall.

Anyway, in the shot above, we see her standing alone and standing tall. I receive great joy as a father watching her grow up, so delicately and sweetly.

Her brother on the other hand, is all boy. Sweet and loving as well, but you have to pay a bit more attention to see that sometimes. Maybe the Tasmanian Devil was a sensitive soul as well, but you'd have to slow down the tape just to see his face. I wonder if his dad ever saw his son the way I see mine. "Taz. Can you please stop spinning for just a second?"

And there he is above, in the background. An unexpected part of the picture in a sudden flash. I want his zest for life. Where his sister will sometimes stubbornly play no role in whatever we're all doing, he'll jump forward with little to no apprehension. I wish I could remember what it was like to inhabit a body only five years old. After my thirty-eight years, I have to do a complicated series of stretches each morning or I'll be a bit off all day long. This little guy, even when he falls down, he's quick to bounce right back up and get back to the quick pace of his many adventures.

The lesson we're trying to teach him now is that saying, "I'm sorry," isn't the free pass to get out of each and every bothersome thing he does to his sister. One night, while in time out, he kept whining and repeating the same refrain: "I keep saying I'm sorry, but no one ever listens to me." Poor little victim.

These two are going to be fine. They're loved and they are listened to. Even when they think they are not. And for better or worse, they're blogged about as well.

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