My boys bicker. A lot. In fact, they frequently spend entire days telling each other how much better their lives would be if only their brothers didn’t exist.
And yet, they care about each other. A lot.
Case in point: The other day, Boy #2 and Boy #3 spent the bulk of their day arguing and fighting. Boy #2 let Boy #3 know, in no uncertain terms, that Boy #3 is not his favorite person in the world.
But that night, when Boy #3 was tired beyond belief and not feeling well, who was at his bedside? Boy #2. Who came to get me when Boy #3 said he thought he had a fever? Boy #2. And who checked in and said a sweet good night, even after I was laying with Boy #3? Boy #2.
“See,” I told Boy #3. “He doesn’t hate you. He really does love you.”
“Oh, Mom,” Boy #3 said, with a note of exasperation in his voice. “That’s just family hate.”
On some level, my boys get it. On some level, they love their brothers fiercely, even though they drive each other crazy. On some level, they know that all the hateful words are really just expressions of frustration and irritation.
Yes, we need to work on that; my boys need to learn better way to express frustration and irritation. But for now, I will revel in the memory of a sweet Boy #2, anxiously checking on his sick brother.