Thursday, September 14, 2006

Siblings, Sans the Rivalry

Somehow, when I was not paying attention, my kids developed a brother-sister bond.

And it's not just one based on squabbling and battling over toys, although those often make up the dominant motif in their relationship. No, it's an actual connection, one that they will share with no one else, including me.

It's a lovely thing to behold. They have their own private games and jokes, schemes and songs. They entertain each other far better than I ever could. I know for sure that I am not your go-to gal for crawling in and out of the kitchen cabinets for a pretend train trip. Or for re-enacting scenes from Finding Nemo in the bathtub. Or for concocting elaborate scenarios wherein Allie's stuffed dog needs to be rescued by firefighters.

And they have actual conversations with each other, ones in which my participation is discouraged or even disdained. If I try to interject, I'll hear, "I'm talking to Allie, Mom." (When did I become Mom, by the way? Not till you're at least 8, Mister.)

It's setting the stage, I know, for a lifetime of private conversations, many of which will be about Jeff and me and how hopeless/clueless/embarrassing/annoying we are. They will have shared memories that I will have forgotten, they will have a context and perspective for their childhood together that will differ markedly from mine. All this is good. It's healthy and normal. And yet it makes me somewhat sad.*

I guess I am already fearing my future obsolescence. Seeing them develop selves and relationships that do not include me is forecasting a time when I might just hear from them over the phone every once in a while. A time when I know they will talk to each other, that they will know things about each other that I will not.

It's enough to make me embrace the toy disputes that require my mediation after all.

*Jeff read this right before I posted it and is now convinced that I need therapy.