On normal days, they correct one another constantly, tell each other what to do, and the word stop (which becomes stooo-ooop) is repeated more times than I can count. There are times where I think they can't stand it when the other breathes, and it just kills me. Having lost my youngest brother at the bright young age of 31, I feel every snipe and every sneer like a sharp knife in my heart.
At the beginning of the summer, I started giving them "challenges" to get them to work together. Eight out of ten times they got frustrated and angry because neither wanted to compromise on a project. It became a struggle between them and I began to despair. But eight out of ten became six out of ten. By last week it became four out of ten. They're finding the groove.
For my brother and me, it was comic books. We could fight all day, but take us to the comic store and we were the best of friends, picking out the best issues that we both could agree on (for you fellow geeks, it was Avengers, Xmen, Thor, Iron Man...occasionally Batman, though I had my concerns with the slim coverage Batgirl was given in that comic...) For Punkgirl and Happyboy, it's creativity. I give them the camera and a theme, and before I know it there are costumes and props and can they use this or that. I tell them they need to make a comic book and they are on the computer, heads together, the argument they had ten minutes ago about Happyboy constantly singing instantly forgotten as they come up with graphics and snappy dialogue. They hit the groove. I don't have to worry then that they might grow up disliking each other...these moments are proof that their sibling love exists. I cherish them, those moments, more than I could possibly say, and I miss that bond with my own brother keenly but bitter-sweetly.