It was a rough day. There was bickering between my boys almost constantly. Breaking up fights was becoming all too common and I was at my wits end. It was probably the 50th time of asking J to stop pestering G which earned him a spot on the steps. I felt tears welling up and asking myself, “Is their relationship always going to be like this?”
After a few minutes, I sat next to J on the steps and asked him the typical why did he think he was in time-out. He looked down and shrugged his shoulders. I knew something deeper had to be going on. Sibling rivalry is normal to an extent, but this was extreme. It’s been so extreme that I’ve consulted professionals about it and one mentioned that J could be experiencing some jealousy that he didn’t grow in my belly like G did. Wait, what? No. I mean, J should know that I love him no differently. He sees that, right? But in this moment on the steps, I decided to attempt to put words to the feelings he might be having. As he sat there, I asked him, “Hey buddy, do you some times feel sad or mad that G grew in my belly?”
Tears came from his eyes immediately. He melted as if I hit the nail on the head to something he didn’t know how to express himself. I brought him in close to me and we cried together. After a few moments, he said, “Mommy, why didn’t I grow in your belly?” My response straight up came from God because I’m not great with words on the fly.
“J, if you grew in my belly you wouldn’t be you. You wouldn’t be so good at drawing. You wouldn’t be able to run as fast as you do and be able to do all those flips. You wouldn’t be blessed with that handsome tan skin and those beautiful brown eyes. You wouldn’t have that big, bold smile. If you grew in my belly, you wouldn’t be who God intended you to be. And I love who God created you to be.”
That conversation happened about a year ago and I’d like to say that all had been wonderful after that between the boys, but it was still a journey. What was important, though, was that J had the words to express what he was feeling. He was now able to begin to process where that anger and jealousy was truly coming from. There have been times since when J would draw a picture and say, “If I grew in your belly, Mom, I wouldn’t be so good at this drawing stuff. Right?” He was seeing for himself that God gave him these gifts and that was only possible by growing in Mama E’s belly. It’s been so empowering for him!
And then this summer happened. The summer of 2019 has been one of deep friendship building for J and G. They still bicker and there are still fights to break up but it is no where near what it used to be. Instead, I’ve found myself often staring at the boys playing and been in awe of what God is doing. J’s healing journey has spilled over into seeing his brother differently. He’s no longer threatened by G’s existence because he’s more secure in himself and his story. You guys, the boys even requested to sleep in G’s bed together the other night. Tim and I snuck upstairs before we headed to bed to see if they were still together and we stared with misty eyes at this:
This is a picture of pure hope.
Hope that J can overcome this mountain of insecurity in his life.
Hope that my little boys who will grow into men can have a long lasting friendship.
Hope that God still sees and cares about the details of our lives.