Sunday, September 2, 2007

Sibling Rivalry

Growing up with an older sister can be a challenge for a young boy. I was lucky enough to have a sister that I grew very close to, and love dearly to this day. As expected, we didn't always see eye-to-eye as young kids.

One day, when I was about eight years old, my sister and I were playing in the living room while my mom chatted on the phone in the kitchen. I had my toy drum, which was a constant companion for me. I was particularly fond of marching through the house with it while my dad played "Little Drummer Boy" on the stereo at Christmas time. That song is still my favorite Christmas song. My sister and I were chasing each other around the pool table, and poking, tickling, and occasionally hitting each other in the typical playful manner of little kids. I remember her hair flying wild as I rounded the corner of the pool table, only to have her turn on me and tickle my ribs. I giggled with delight.

I had put my drum, and drumsticks, down on the floor during our chase. I reached onto the pool table and rolled a ball into a pocket. We were not allowed to play with the pool table, and my sister said, "I'm going to tell. You're not s'posed to be playing with that." As she tried to make her way to the kitchen to tattle on me, a wrestling match ensued. She's almost four years older than me, so it was a pretty one sided match. As our wrestling and tumbling neared the kitchen, she grabbed one of my drumsticks and poked me in the face with it. It was a gentle nudge, but I knew that we were never supposed to poke each other in the face ("You'll put an eye out doing that!").

This was my chance! I hollered to my mom, "Mom! Suse poked me in the eye and hit me!" My mom didn't miss a beat: "Well, hit her back." My sister's gentle poke with a toy was met by me winding up and punching her in the arm as hard as I could. She immediately started crying, and I felt about two inches tall. She ran off to her room, and I didn't see her for at least 15 minutes.

Such was the "rivalry" between us as kids. It's funny to look back on these things, but it also reminds me of how hearty an upbringing we had. We typically settled our differences ourselves, and learned many lessons from that sort of relationship.

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