What was the fighting over?
Does it really matter? The fact is that when my son and daughter are forced to share a confined space, someone’s going down. As it happens, the three of us survived, but as I now sip my Blackstone Cabernet Sauvignon, my hand occasionally twitches in nervous spasm, sprinkling me with drops of red wine that signify the blood almost shed earlier today. As the Jewish holiday of Passover approaches, the symbolism is perfect; I spill the “blood” in memory of those who almost perished in the car and in celebration of my freedom to blog about it all, having lived to tell the gruesome tale. Oh, so truly scary.
I remember growing up with my younger brother. We fought interminably, probably pushing my mother so close to the edge of insanity. Still, when I share my troubles with her, she seems to remember those years about as vividly as a woman remembers the pain of childbirth, which is what pushes us to have a second child…that tendency to forget all the pain as soon as we hold our perfect baby in our arms.
“Oh, you guys weren’t that bad,” Mom insists.
That is when I reconsider my edge-of-insanity remark and think that my mother actually lost it years ago. I don’t know how she couldn’t see it, but I hated my brother. I can only say that now (knowing he may very well read this) because he knows that today he is one of my favorite men in this world, sharing that spot only with my husband and my son, who I affectionately call Little Man on days I haven’t been trapped with him and his sister in the car. My brother is so cool and so on my side that I can’t imagine ever having hated him so much.
Here we are circa 1972. Notice my hands on hips stance as I think, I'm not smiling while standing next to him, if that's what you're thinking, Mom!
But I did hate him. And I remember that. Which is the only solace I have at moments such as these. Moments when I fear that I may commit infanticide soon if my otherwise beautiful children don’t start loving each other NOW. I figure that as long as I keep my hopes intact and my belly full, my children just might survive their youth and grow up to be great friends in adulthood.
Until then, I’ll continue coloring my hair to cover up the gray they’re giving me. And instead of spilling “blood” from my wine glass, I’ll drink the stuff up and celebrate the truth…which is that I am damn lucky to have these sibling-hating angels in my life.