Today, my two oldest boys, had their very first fight.
I've been saying over the past year or so, as I observe their relationship, that they are more like best friends than brothers. (Until today) I could not remember a single time when they fought or teased like most brothers. They are the same size, and Caleb has always pushed himself to be at Colin's level in almost every area. The result has been that they have found playmates rather than annoyances in each other.
Today, however, something was off. It began with a wonderful hockey creation built by the two of them: a hockey rink complete with arena and players on the ice. The detail was incredible and I noted that I would like to take a picture. Colin asked if we could submit the photo to the Lego contest, to which I agreed.
Then the floodworks opened. Caleb was excited to be a part of it. Colin insisted his brother's participation was so limited it didn't count. So Caleb decided to take apart any piece he had built. Both boys were quickly in tears, sobbing about the injustice and so genuinely sad I was surprised by the emotion.
Caleb fled to his bedroom. Colin fled outside.
After ten minutes, I went looking after the two of them. I found Caleb flung across his bed, sobbing into his pillow. I found Colin outside shovelling snow off the back deck with a determined face. Another ten minutes passed and I checked in on Caleb to find him staring sadly out the bedroom window at his brother, who was still shovelling.
I was struck by the fight, and once again, how it was more like how best friends fight than brothers. With siblings, the fight usually descends into name calling, teasing, destroying toys, or even shove or two. But with friends, it's the self-imposed separation that feels tortuous.
Within the hour I found the two of them together again, united in a game of mini sticks. "Did you make up?" I asked and their happy reply was "of course!"
And once again their best friend relationship is restored. They shared novels back and forth, worked together to clear the back deck (for ball hockey), and shared in Colin's successes on his soccer team (when my mom called, Caleb's only news was a play by play of Colin's previous game and goals.) How wonderful these two have each other.