The Sisterhood is a place to bring your cup of coffee to. Heck, bring the whole pot :). Sit down, relax, and fall in for a while. No divas or meanies allowed. It's about boy brain, kiddos, food, one crazy labrador, autism and a cat in recovery from a back tire incident. Oh the places you'll go :)

The Pumpkin Patch…or…The Halloween Drama Zone: Round 14

on October 23, 2012

Thankfully, this picture is pretty.  I appreciate that more than you know because if our day at the pumpkin patch is going to deteriorate into a drama zone then I at least hang my hopes on getting a good and pretty picture to take away from it.  Lots of verbal and mental combat took place yesterday and I’d like to say I never saw it coming but, knowing my children and their sibling rivalry, I can’t.  I’d like to say it’s unusual for us but, let’s face it, it isn’t.  If there are cameras involved and high expectation of one good picture of kids or the perfect family outing together, there will be drama.

With three kids, ages 10, 12 and 14, there will be drama and we will be dosed with sibling rivalry without fail.  My daughter just turned fifteen and I can roughly say this is round 14 for us in the Halloween drama zone.  As I look over the pictures from yesterday, I can still vividly remember the time when she was just two and wearing a vibrant red sweater and how she and I struggled to get just one picture of her in the cute wagon with the mini pumpkins.  If you have children who like to pose and who have practiced smiles…all I can say is rejoice in your good fortune!  With three children, pictures can be tough to say the least.

The upside of having just completed round 14 in the Halloween drama zone is that these kids will have some crazy memories to laugh about one day.  I can almost hear my youngest son saying to my middle son, “Remember when you got lost in the corn maze that one Halloween and I went back in to find you and then we pretended like we were lost and we hid from mom until she came looking for us? Remember what her voice sounded like when she finally found us?”  And my daughter saying to my youngest son, “Remember when you and I got into the fight over the monarch butterfly in that green house and how mom’s face got kind of red and she was so embarrassed by our behavior she could hardly find her words?  And how, at first, she just gave us her Mom-stare?”  And my daughter saying to both boys, “Oh and don’t forget about that time when we dropped the big pumpkin in the store and the cashier was starting to be mean to you two and how Mom got between her and us and reminded the lady that even though it was a mess, it was just a pumpkin and kids are more important than pumpkins?”

In the moments when I would sometimes like to start lecturing them about following the rules and being sweet citizens I try hard to remember that these frustrating moments for me are also the memories that will fill up my children’s childhood bank of stories.  The stories they will laugh about one day and the stories that will bind them together as brothers and sister.

I am thankful they have siblings to fight with.  I am thankful they are not alone.  Siblings may make life crazy but they also weave life into living.  I am thankful they are individuals with strong minds and they don’t always agree me.  I am thankful they have ample opportunity to practice conflict resolution within the family (both privately and publicly) and they have the chance to practice how to make an apology mean something before they make it out into the big world alone where the mistakes count a lot more.   Siblings may make life messy, dirty and loud but they also make this life a better place.

We are not perfect.  Sometimes we disagree and don’t get along and sometimes we do not use our best manners but every single day, inside this family, we practice.  Some lessons are harder to learn than others and we practice them over and over and over and over…well, you get it.  That is what childhood is for and that is what home is best for.  Home gives you a soft place to fall into, unconditional love, unlimited forgiveness, and a load of second chances when you need them.

Family isn’t always pretty but, thankfully, it’s always family. One day I am hopeful we will have some incident free outings but, until then, we will keep practicing our social graces and we will keep coming back to home base in those moments when our grace falls short.


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