Thursday, October 22, 2009

War and Peace

This morning the sounds of battle to come were in the air,  as pajama clad generals set up their troops and organized their equipment.  For a moment there I though it will be a peaceful morning.  But as the saying goes, if you want peace prepare for war.  Before long there were wild shrieks coming from the direction of the living room.  It sounded like there was a different battle taking place, this one off the official battlefield.  Suddenly an incensed young gentleman materialized next to my bed, "Mommy, he says he won already and we didn't even get to have a war yet, I want to continue playing."  I couldn't get a word in edgewise as each side presented its grievances and asserted its rights,very loudly.  Eventually an unhappy ceasefire was brokered. I thought that  peace has been restored, but alas it was short lived indeed.  Next thing I knew, there was the incensed young warrior back again.  "What is it now?" I inquired casually.  "You gave him clean socks, but they are MY socks".  Round two.  So we were back to calming everyone down, finding lost socks,  organizing a fair sock exchange, inquiring what exactly happened to all those pairs of socks I just bought before Succos and why only one of each pair has ended up in the laundry while the other was still at large somewhere AWOL. Oy.  Finally an agreement was  reached, from now on Mommy would hold on to all clean socks and one could only be given a new clean pair when a complete dirty pair was turned in.  The terms of the agreement were deemed equitable by both sides.  Crisis averted.  A victory for diplomacy? I didn't have time to pat myself on the back.  The incensed one was back again.  "He has my yarmulka, I only let him have it for Rosh Chodesh, it's not Rosh Chodesh any more."  I couldn't argue with that point and so we were back on the battlefield, explaining what fair play was, how to treat and not to treat one's brother,  what language is and is not acceptable.  Again, after some time,  peace was restored.  They got dressed, ate breakfast and were off to school, still in one piece, still on amicable terms.   They fought, they made up and they moved on. It's true, they are still young but as parents  we have to teach them how to navigate the battlefield that life often is, how to fight a good fight and how to pick their battles, so they could emerge victorious in the end in the truest sense of the word.


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