Jessie and I were recently lamenting sibling rivalry. We commiserated through short stories depicting what was meant to be examples of hyperbole. What her piece and mine had in common was that while exaggerations, they were also realistic portrayals of how our children actually interact.
We also had similar experiences with our own sister and brother. Jessie told me about how she and her sister had to lay a strip of tape between them on the family car’s back seat. Obviously to delineate territorial borders.
I vaguely recall my parents having to do the same with my brother and me… battles lines. I have flashbacks of vicious kick fights when a leg, or toe extended past the neutral zone.
Despite all the bruises and pulled hair, not all competitions with my brother evoke bad memories. Perhaps time has mellowed some of the animosity, but there was one constant game of “one-upmanship” that I laugh about today.
When we were kids, my brother and I ate a lot of peanut butter. Even now, I love me a PB&J sandwich (preferably with strawberry jelly on whole wheat toast – warm, melty peanut butter makes me smile).
There is something irresistable about the smooth, unblemished surface of a new jar of peanut butter. Like an unsigned, wet concrete sidewalk slab, that blank canvas was an all too tempting reason for my brother and me to duel over who was the first to dip into the pristine, nutty sandwich spread. Not to be the first to have a taste, but to be the first to clandestinely leave a message for the other, written with a toothpick quill.
I still half expect to see a note from him in every jar I open.