The wizarding world of siblings

Not to discount parents who have only one child but I firmly believe some of life’s most important relationships are learned through sibling relationships–the good and the bad. As I watch my kids play, struggle, fight, make-up, sacrifice and love I can’t help but be grateful they have each other, even if they don’t always appreciate it.

When we are traveling and adventuring, they get along marvelously 95 percent of the time. They have to–all they have is each other. When they’re home, it’s an entirely different manner. It’s about territory, competition and stuff. Hadley is entering the tween years where so many things her little brother does annoy her (I remember them well). It doesn’t help that he is thriving in areas in which she is struggling, augmenting an already complicated dynamic. Sometimes she can be downright mean.

A couple of weeks ago my friend Jenn, even though she had a house full of kids, graciously offered to watch H and B while Jamie and I went to the temple. The next morning, Jenn told me Hadley threw a fit about Bode joining in a game, stormed off, vented, got over it and later joined in. I was U-P-S-E-T and her attitude had gone too far. Jamie and I met with her to discuss the consequences for her actions and gave her a chance “to make it up” to Jenn and Bode.

That afternoon, I canceled her playdate with a friend so she could make Jenn an apology card and some Easter cookies. I then asked her to think of three day’s worth of thoughtful things she could secretly do for her brother. She decided to start by cleaning his room.

Next, Hadley carried the cookies over to Jenn, rehearsing her apology. I was proud of her–She was willingly being accountable for her actions. As she walked up to the front step, she turned and WHOOOOOSH, the cookies went flying off the plate. She looked at me, ready to cry. I looked at her. “Let’s go home,” I announced. She was deflated and I jokingly reminded her of a story we had recently read in the children’s Friend, “Three Milk Shakes for Malachi.” She started to perk up. “Hopefully it won’t take me that many times!”

This time, she loaded up our personal stash of cookies, took them over, rang the doorbell and Jenn answered. Only she wasn’t alone. Jenn is the Bishops’ wive and our kindly Bishop joined her as well. Hadley faltered a bit before sputtering out her apology. They graciously thanked her and she raced away, beaming.

She tried really hard the rest of the day to be nice to him (no small feat for her). That evening as we were getting ready for bed, Bode entered his room for the first time.

“Wow, look at how clean it is!”

“Did you do it, Mommy?”


“Did Daddy do it?”

“No, Hadley did it.”

“Was it Fat Kitty?

“It was your sister!”

“Or maybe it was a wizard?”

Something tells me this sibling dynamic will be a long, hard road.

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