I had a house full this evening. My oldest brother is in town for a visit on his way back to Malaysia, so my other brother came up from Texas. And some other family came over for dinner so we could all visit.
When my kids start fighting or name calling, I try to remember my childhood. It could be pretty brutal at times with two older brothers, but as they would tell you, it made me tougher. Anna likes hearing the stories of how her uncles would pick on me, and she shows visitors in my parents' home the proof of that torment -- a broken coffee table leg. About 30 years ago, G was attacking me -- at least that's how I remember it -- and I was holding onto the leg of the table so he couldn't drag me off somewhere and continue torturing me. Of course, he was strong but I wasn't too weak and pulled the leg off the table. Back then they made furniture quite sturdy, so even though I was able to dismember it, the table is still perfectly usable today.
Today we can laugh about it and enjoy one another's company. However, 25-30 years ago, it was another story. So I can only hope that as my kids argue like siblings tend to do, they will remain close as adults. Because while I may not speak to my brothers regularly, we are still relatively close, and I know I can count on them whenever I need anything -- especially advice they so willingly give.