Most of the time, Emma and Gerrit are the best of buds. They laugh together, play together, snuggle together. For being siblings, they really don’t fight that often. But lately, I’ve seen the beginnings of what I assume to be the wedge that will separate them. An inkling of what could part them into two different islands instead of the same family mass… Emma’s indifference and Gerrit’s stubbornness. Lately, I’ve seen flickers of its potential to divide them if left unchecked.
This morning started pleasant enough. Gerrit awoke first and waited patiently for Emma to get up so they could do the things he wanted to do. We heard her bedroom door open and then the bathroom door squeak closed. On his part, Gerrit did wait patiently but as the minutes passed, he just couldn’t take it anymore. Finally, after what felt like a thousand years, he knocked on the door and asked her what she was doing. She came out a few seconds later to proudly show me the pigtails she’d given herself. He tried to talk to her but she wanted only to show me her grand accomplishment. Gerrit was completely over waiting. He listed off the day’s plans for them both while she asked me which style I liked her hair in better.
Then the bickering started. And the tattle telling. And the snide jabs. And the exasperated sighs of frustration. And finally, me yelling… Enough!! They hadn’t been up for 30 minutes yet and they were driving me insane.
I decided they needed a reality check. I told them they needed to get out their journals. After they did, I told them I wanted them to write what it would be like without a brother or sister. Then I sent them to task, hoping they would find the answer I was looking for.
To be honest, I was a little worried. Would they unearth the lonely experience I hoped they would or would they envision brighter days without each other? Would they find an isolated existence without their sibling or a wonderful reprieve? Was this brilliant idea of mine going to blow up in my face??
Emma finished first and I read her entry…
Next, it was Gerrit’s turn to show me what he’d written…
I had them read to each other what they’d written. They each smiled and hugged. And I let out a silent sigh. The message was received.