Sunday, January 20, 2013

1, 2, 3 Vacuums?

"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God" (Matthew 5:9, NIV).

For Christmas our younger son got a toy vacuum.  Boy, was he excited to take it for a spin around the carpet.  Miraculously, it does have some suction power despite being a toy.  He would open the lint trap, examine the contents, and then dump them back on the floor.  But I am not complaining - we get this routine refined, and I have a good helper on my hands! 

It did not take long for his older brother to get jealous.  Despite all of the toys that had accumulated for Christmas, this one had somehow risen to the top as the "hot" one, and both kids pined to be the only one playing with it.  It was hard to insist that our younger one share; it was not only his new toy and his excitement was palpable, but he is still young to have mastered the art of sharing.

My mother in law suggested that we buy a second vacuum.  Our boys did have some Christmas money yet to spend.  She said that sometimes she had to buy two of certain toys when she was raising her children.  That sounded like a good idea.  So I went shopping online and picked out a second vacuum.  I thought a little variety would be good, so it had a different design.

The anticipated day came recently when it arrived in the mail.  This vacuum had a detachable wand from the base with real suction unlike the first one.  Instead of both kids now having their own special vacuums to play with, they both pined to be the only one playing with the new one.  The day ended with our older son trying to keep the younger one away while wanding his hair with the attachment...

If only fighting was this picturesque...
I share this story because it got me thinking about the dynamics we face as mothers of more than one child.  I was not about to buy a third vacuum.  I learned that if I ever buy two of one toy, then they have to be the exact same. Lesson learned.  But this vignette is reflective of the fact that there can be a great deal of competition among siblings, whether it be for things like toys, opportunities, or even our attention.

It is important to me to do what I can to foster a healthy and respectful relationship between my boys.  I know that this will take some intentionally, and I certainly cannot profess to have all of the answers.  I see the blessing they give each other in companionship and play, but like any relationship, there are also pitfalls to navigate and strengths to harness.

God gave me these boys, who are amazing in their individuality, but also equal in need for my love.  I pray that my love has intentionality, that God gives me the wisdom to love them equally yet differently appropriate to their needs.  And I pray that God helps me to create a framework for them that short-circuits any preventable pitfalls in an effort to provide them with fertile soil to grow.

Prayer:  Dear God, Thank you for the gift of siblings.  Thank you for the companionship that they bring each other.  Help me examine in the coming week the dynamics at work in my family; give me wisdom to create a framework that allows each of my children to flourish.  In Jesus' name, Amen.

1 comment:

  1. I can relate to this well, Noelle! The sibling dynamic is one of my great challenges lately, and filled with teachable moments - for the kids as well as for me! Thanks for stopping by my blog so I could find yours. Blessings to you and your family today!


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