Black versus White. Republican versus Democrat. Police versus Community. Government versus Government. Celebrity versus Celebrity.
Our world has become angry and divided...torn and forced to choose sides. The news and social media outlets are riddled with stories that sadly lead to the formation of rigid opinions and the waging of war against those who hold opposing views.
There are situations like Ferguson, the Middle East, Immigration, Bill Cosby, and even Martha Stewart and Gwyneth Paltrow, for goodness' sake. You even have GOP staffer Elizabeth Lauten waging war against Sasha and Malia Obama and, subsequently, a large bulk of the nation waging war against her for her perceived bullyish behavior towards minors.
All this hate and separation has me very concerned and bothered. I find it upsetting and disruptive.
And then along came a little blessing. And it came in the form of sibling rivalry.
I know what you're thinking. How can she possibly see brothers and sisters fighting as anything good?
I admit it. I'm usually the mom who goes bonkers when the kids start fighting. It drives me nuts! Remember The Get-Along Shirt? Yeah, that's typically how I react when unrest breaks out in my home. But this time it was completely different.
Allow me to explain...
Last night, I walked upstairs to tuck my 3 youngest boys (John-Paul, Allen-Michael and Thomas) and my 3 girls (Lauryn, Kourtney and Chloe) into bed. The 3 boys share a room, and the girls are in the room directly across the hall.
When I reached the landing and approached the girls' room, I came face-to-face with a door covered in homemade signs.
Several months ago, my daughters formed a group called The Marshmallow Girls. Last night, their room had clearly been designated as their clubhouse and they were happy to showcase it.
They were also quite clear about their intentions to keep "stinky boys" out, as illustrated by the crossed through picture of a boy with flies surrounding him.
My three "stinky boys" recognized this as an enemy attack and they immediately took defensive action.
As a result, a new group was formed. The Beignet Boys! And you guessed it...No "rat girls" allowed!
So, why is this a blessing?
Well, for once, they weren't bickering or hitting one another. They were creatively (and quite hysterically) making use of their time. And although they were forming alliances and separating themselves from "the enemy," I've seen firsthand what they really think of one another.
I've seen Chloe console Allen-Michael. I've seen John-Paul pour Kourtney a glass of water. I've seen Lauryn tell Thomas it's going to be okay. I've seen them all dance and sing together. I've seen them share hugs and sincere I love you's.
They all look out for one another. And yes, sometimes they fight. Sometimes, they draw the proverbial line in the sand and declare "Room War."
This particular battle was different from their usual spats. It was refreshing. It made me smile and giggle. It lifted the heaviness of our hostile society. It was a much needed dose of innocence in a world so stained and corrupt.
And though it may never happen again, in that moment, I found a blessing...
A Blessing of Peace and Joy in Sibling Rivalry