Lord, how the boys fight.

Solomon and Samson are brothers. One moment they are sworn enemies. The next they are best friends. It is hard to keep up. It is also very loud.

I’m writing this after a long weekend. They had Friday off of school. And Monday off of school. And Tuesday was a late start because of snow. And a pandemic rages, so the boys spend most of their time at home. And with each other.

Rage, the Goddess, sing the rage of Peleus’ son Achilles.

I don’t know why I quoted The Iliad there. I’m an English major, I guess. And rage seems the appropriate word to use. So much rage between the boys.

“Samson, stop copying me!” Solomon howled as Samson played with his cat piano. The same cat piano that Solomon has. Because we always buy toys in pairs. Even though it doesn’t help much.

Samson pushed another key on the piano.

“I’m going to hit you!” Solomon screamed loud enough to raise my blood pressure.

“Boys,” I say.

“He started it!”

And then they end up in their rooms. Howling and screaming and gnashing their teeth. Rage, Goddess.

We’ve got a real Cain and Abel situation over here.


Then the next minute all is well.

“Can we do the things we always say, Solomon?” Samson asked his brother.


“The things we always say” is code for when they decide to treat each other well. And then they play. Lord, how they play.

The boys created an imagination game called Theo Mysteries. Theo is our cat. In the game, my sons go around the house talking to a pretend Theo. This pretend Theo gives the boys clues and they have to solve mysteries. Thus the title. They find treasure. Search for gems. That sort of things. They played this game for hours a few weeks ago.

My children also decided to have a sleepover during the long weekend. On Saturday they set up a little tent in Solomon’s room. Slept next to each other. They woke up at three in the morning. They were fighting by four in the morning. They were exhausted by noon. Still, they wanted to have another sleepover on Sunday. Set up the tent in Samson’s room. They were out like a light by 8:00 that night. Slept until 9 the next morning. Cuddled up next to each other in sleeping bags. It was adorable. Then they were threatening to kick each other after breakfast.

One moment is love. The next is hatred. All the while Katie and I do our best to set boundaries, remain patient, and not have a nervous breakdown.

Our closest family is 1,000 miles away. And this is year three of a pandemic. Parenting these emotional boys is taking a toll. The brothers are a handful.


I didn’t have a brother. So I don’t have much context for how Solomon and Samson treat each other.

I had friends that were like brothers. But that wasn’t until I was 12 or 13. I never played Theo Mysteries with my friends, but I certainly had sleepovers. Our sleepovers had more to do with playing Super Nintendo than anything else.

I’m sure the violent turns from anger to love that I’m witnessing in my children is normal. Whatever normal means. Human beings aren’t normal. I’ve met lots of them and have decided there is nothing normal about whatever we are. Development psychology aside. I’m not a parent who is after normal, I guess. Though I’d like to avoid blood pressures spikes. And the volume around here is something else.

I don’t need normal. But I’d rather have peace than violence. I’ve told Solomon my story about cardhouses. We’re using that language to talk about hurting others. I suppose that is a step. Though his impulsive need to go after his brother continues. Trying to choose peace instead of violence is a lifelong challenge. Just look at the current state of the United States for an example.

I’m still after peace, I guess. Even with the unbound emotions of my children.

Rage, Goddess. Rage, Solomon and Samson.

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