Saturday, February 7, 2009

Us vs. Them

I love this:

Owen was with his grandparents for two days. When they drop him off, he runs past me, past Paul, straight to Joel. He says, "Baby Joel-Joels. I missed you!" He then does his routine of tossing Joel around like a chew toy. I would be more alarmed if Joel wasn't grinning from ear to ear.

This is the beginning of Us. vs. Them, and I'm okay with it. The whole point of having a sibling is knowing that there is another person who understands the absurdity of the parents. Only a brother or sister can, with a rolled eye or chuckle, boil down the parent-child relationship to its core. Only a brother or sister can say, "See, this, this is why we're crazy."

Someday, I can see Owen and Joel in the backseat, as we drive to some National Park for a family vacation, mocking our words, our music, our clothing, and our very existence. Yes, they will bicker, but they will have a common enemy: Mom and Dad.

Don't get me wrong: I think that they will like us. What's not to like? However, I remember turning in my Cool Membership Card when I checked out of the hospital (as do all parents), and I fully expect that I will embarrass both of my boys, sooner if not later.

It will be so humiliating, having Mom pull up to the middle school, blasting Beck and talking about books and nature and, God Forbid, Klingon Names. "Kill me now," the boys will think, if not shout to the heavens.

That's okay, though. Owen and Joel will not have to do it alone. They have each other, partners in mocking, in derision, and occasionally, hopefully, in love.

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