When Siblings Fight

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

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Every day they love each other, they fight each other, they care for each other, they compete with each other, they explode in emotions good and bad, attracting and repelling. A journey in learning how to relate.

And I am the observer, the moderator, the last word if things get ugly. They are usually so focused with each other that it is as if I am transparent, or maybe just a distant voice in the background. And yet, as I watch, I am intrigued: How can you understand the dance of siblings? As they move closer and distant, in tears but craving for more, addicted to the highs and lows of sharing moments?

Relationships are complicated and the dynamic between siblings enigmatic. Much easier for me the outsider to prescribe treatments, figure out solutions to their conflicts, see the entire picture without the emotions. However, amidst their laughs and tears they see the world different, as in a blur, unaware of strategies to extend their peak moments and prevent the downsides.

And then I am reminded of myself. How many times emotions blur my vision and I am there lost in my ups and downs, unaware of the big picture? And I look up and see God's eyes, following me, as I move from laughs to tears, watching me when I fail in improving relationships, or when words are used to hurt.

God was watching when the first siblings didn't flourish in their relationship, when anger and envy led to wrong decisions, when the beauty of being the first siblings on Earth was tinted by being the first crime on Earth.

He is still watching, God is still watching as we hurt each other, despise each other, neglect each other. The dance of siblings could be beautiful, harmonic, leading to choreography. Jesus took the first step and showed how to follow the music, bend your knees, to the lowest and dirtiest, and wash the feet, as many as needed. There, and right there is the place to start the relationship, with a humble heart and strong grip.
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Stories for my boys

Thursday, April 11, 2013

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I love making up stories for my boys. There is nothing like watching the excitement in their eyes unfolding before me as I turn stories around to please their little imagination. But as soon as they come, the stories vanish from my memory. This one won't! 

Luke has been telling me that he wants to be a scientist when he grows up, so I made up a story about a scientist Squirrel. 

The Best Squirrel Scientist

Spring was blooming with brushes of colors and shapes. Mr. Squirrel was busy running up and down trees covered with yellow pollen, feasting on the first abundance of the season. He once again was looking forward being surrounded by all his friends that had gone South for the winter. The chattering of birds recalling their adventures in tropical lands and the yawning of bears as they started to wake up for life again.

But Mr. Squirrel, over the winter, had decided to take upon himself a new career. It was not enough being just a squirrel, he wanted to have an important tag on his lap, maybe a few medals and a lengthy resume. So he had developed a plan. As soon as the sun was warm enough for heating the stones around the creek, he was going to start doing Science experiments with heat. 

Heat, he had learned from an old book he borrowed from Mr. Frog, could do amazing things. Like evaporate drops of water! Or create fire when scratched by little pebbles! He also wanted to explore how heat was transfered between different materials. Would heat jump from the stone to the water as fast as to a piece of wood?

Mr. Squirrel could picture himself standing in front of a class of little mouses and bunnies, explaining the results of all his discoveries. Or who could deny the possibility of writing scientific articles to important magazines filled with graphs and numbers? Mr. Squirrel was so excited for his idea, that during those first weeks of Spring, he spent most of his time spreading the news around the forest about his unique plan. 

The forest animals were excited to hear about Mr. Squirrel's plan, but after a few weeks, as Mr. Squirrel kept talking non stop about his heat theories, one by one the forest animals lost their interest and went back to gathering food for the winter months. 

The summer months would have been perfect to put in practice all Mr. Squirrel's heat experiments, if it wasn't for the extreme heat that left Mr. Squirrel always so tired, and more ready for a dip in the creek than to stare at hot pebbles. The tree shades were way more exciting for taking longs naps than the hot stones for studying heat!

Laying on a makeshift hammock of leaves, Mr. Squirrel was sure that just around the corner, he would feel energetic enough to start his hard scientific work. But for now, every scientist was entitled to rest and to do a little bit of career daydreaming. 

Little did Mr. Squirrel noticed when the leaves started to fall, and his Science dreams had become just that: Dreams. And yet, lost in his heat theories speculations, he forgot that soon the lack of heat would also mean lack of food! Without doing any heat experiments, Mr. Squirrel had become the experiment himself! And the results were not that exciting! Mr. Squirrel's painful conclusion was that without hard work, a scientist squirrel is just a hungry squirrel!

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