It is typical for brothers to bicker. Tonight I reminded myself that the way the brothers in our home bicker isn't very typical. This is what I heard happening in our living area tonight while I was in the kitchen.
"Give me my wheelchair back."
"You don't need it right now."
"Yes, I do."
"Let me finish doing some donuts."
"Skye!!!! I have to change my bag." (ostomy pouch)
"So go do it then."
"I need my wheelchair."
"OK, but let me finish first."
"Skye ... you don't want me to change my bag?"
"Stross, you are just trying to get me out of your chair."
I finally interjected: "Skye, give your brother back his chair." And he did, no objections. In fact, he was already in the process of doing just that.
Here is what you can't discern from simply reading the dialogue.
• Stross thinks it is cool that he (Stross) can do wheelies in his wheelchair.
• Skye thinks so too.
• Skye likes to see what it feels like to be in a wheelchair every once in a while.
• Stross likes it that he (Skye) wants to feel what it is like too.
• Skye likes to do donuts in Stross' wheelchair.
• Stross wants to be the only one who does cool things in his wheelchair.
• Stross will invent medical needs to conveniently provide motivation for someone to react the way he wants - not often, but certainly when someone is infringing on his territory - really, his sense of self.
• Stross' wheelchair is to Stross as Skye's legs are to Skye.
• Stross understands that.
• Skye doesn't really understand it. Perhaps he can never fully understand. Perhaps I can't either.
• Stross likes it that he (Skye) tries to understand just a little, even if it is by having fun.
• I like it too.
I continue to love my sons so much that it hurts, and I am beyond grateful for the wonder of them - individually and as brothers.
Bicker away boys. As much as you want. I'll be so sad when those days are gone. The lump already forming in my throat lets me know that I'll have to become acquainted with a new kind of hurt.
I love you, Stross.
I love you, Skye.
I hope you always know that I love being your mom.