Mates and Brothers
It’s Summer holidays and the TeenWolf had a mate over today (that’s a buddy, or a friend for those of you who aren’t Australian). Naturally, that meant a bit of dominance display and chest beating from Godzilla. While the two younger boys wandered around doing their own thing, Godzilla hovered on the edges. Of course, there was substantial interjecting from me, as I magically found jobs that I absolutely had to have Godzilla’s help with. Yeah, I didn’t come down in the last shower. I know how this goes. One kid has a friend over, the other kid tries to interject and just ends up being a pain in the bum. In the fabulously poetic words of Dr. Phil, this ain’t my first rodeo.
TeenWolf reacted by telling him to buzz off, and Godzilla came indoors very unhappy with the world. There was much muttering of “that’s it, I’m f*%&ing done with that kid. I let him hang around with us when my mates were over. He spent the entire time with us. And now that his mate’s here, I have to go away. Bugger him. I’m not taking him running in the morning. I don’t care what Dad says. I’m f*%&ing done.” And in his defence, he was quite right to be so insulted and annoyed. When his friends were here just last weekend, they included the TeenWolf in everything they did. Despite the fact that he’s much younger, and not really part of that crowd. Godzilla and both of his mates were generous, welcoming and inclusive. TeenWolf, on the other hand, behaved like an obnoxious toad, jealously guarding his friend.
Eventually the mate went home, and Godzilla and I were having some fun in the pool. I called the TeenWolf in and asked him what he thought he was doing. Predictably, he started from a position of defensiveness, whining about how Godzilla was intruding on his time with his mate. When I pointed out that Godzilla and his mates had included him in everything that they did, allowing him to hang out with them, encouraging him to play PlayStation™ games, ping pong and messing about in the pool with them, he quietened down. He got it. He’d behaved badly, and he was genuinely sorry.
So, what do you think should happen now? I asked.
I should apologise, he muttered.
Well, go on then. A proper apology, genuine and heartfelt, I said.
Then the most magical thing happened. It was a moment that made me love being a parent. A moment that made me so grateful to have these two as my sons. A moment that made me sigh with relief that these two would always be in each other’s life and always support each other.
The TeenWolf waded into the water, calling his brother over, with his arms outstretched. Godzilla came over. The TeenWolf wrapped his arms around his brother’s neck, squeezed tight, and apologised genuinely and with humility. And Godzilla accepted the apology and hugged him back.
Then everything went back to normal as Godzilla purposely fell backwards into the pool, taking his brother with him. Can’t have too much emotion and shows of love now, can we?!
Still, I love those kids. Love them despite the maddening, hormone-riddled insanity that infuses our lives. And it’s moments like this that remind me just how much I love them.