I have been blessed with the honor of raising three children: a daughter and a set of twin boys. They are all grown up and on their own now, but a certain childhood precedence has not changed. The rubric goes something like this:
Daughter + Son #1 = happy times
Daughter + Son #2 = happy times
Sons #1 + #2 = if in the same room > 10 minutes, punches are thrown.
Daughter + #1 twin son + #2 twin son = punches are thrown < 10 minutes.
Competitive nature? Most certainly. Testosterone? Perhaps, but they started their mutual dislike by about the age of five – before hairy armpits and voice changes.
I tend to think the more fundamental problem lies in the differences in personality – my sons are just not compatible, even though they shared the same small quarters (in utero) for their first eight months or so. Or maybe that contributed to the problem, since they faced each other head to foot all that time, and simply got tired of getting kicked in the face.
But enter the digital age, and the virtual chat room. Ah, now here’s a place where the siblings might actually be able to get along, have some fun even. And no danger of anybody ending up with a bloody nose or a black eye. A recent exchange via group text stands as hopeful testimony to this fact:
To: Daughter, Son #1, Son #2:
Mom: Boarded and ready to take off from DFW. Headed back to Boston. I’ll text when we land safe.
Son #1: Later dudes.
Son #2: Be safe love ya
Son #1: Love you too honey (huge smiley selfie pic embedded in text)
Daughter: Love u sweet cheeks
Son #1: I told you, it’s Sir Sweet Cheeks
Son #1: Don’t you think it’s strange we tell people to have a safe flight when they have no say in the matter? Why do we park in driveways and drive on parkways?
Son #2: Deep thoughts by Sir Sweet Cheeks (smiley wearing sunglasses)
Son #1: I’m a philosophizer
Son #2: Love ya all!
I’m sure the lady sitting next to me got a kick out of my delighted giggles as I read this interchange once I turned my phone back on after landing. All I could think was, “Wow, they exchanged more than 3 sentences with Daughter in the same *room* and nobody got punched. And they actually seemed to be having fun. Maybe there’s hope for a peaceful family holiday gathering in the near future after all.
Well, as long as they stay in separate rooms and communicate via text.