Sometimes it's hard to be the big sister. Sometimes it's hard to be the little brother. And it's almost always hard to be the parent who has to try and keep the peace between said big sister and little brother.
Then there are days like today, and nights like last night, when the kids magically get along and prefer each other's company to mine or Justin's. Last night it was a game of "Scramble" played with rules they made up.
Today it's Star Wars on the back patio.
I understand sibling rivalry - being the long suffering Middle Kid of the May family - but I also understand the precious and unique gift of a sister and a brother who are your best friends, who you love infinitely, and whose company you prefer over just about anyone else's. Which is why I'm determined that my own children, from a very early age, will see each other not just as siblings but as friends.
Don't get me wrong - there are fights. There is hitting. There is tackling. There are tears. There is a long list of typical sibling behavior that drives a parent nuts and gets on your last.damn.nerve. But when that stuff happens, I remind them - you don't have to like each other. Sometimes you won't want to play together. But no matter what, you guys are Forever Friends. No matter what, you'll always have each other.
Amazing how even at 5 and 7, that can diffuse the tension. Even when Forever seems like a really, really long time.