Some days, there is only so much "Get off your brother!" I can take. And before you know it, I am threatening taking away their desserts and holding an early bedtime over their heads.
I know they are incredible creatures, capable of thoughts which amaze (and sometimes disgust) me.
I know they hold the keys to my heart even though I've asked them to pick up their Legos for the millionth time and it doesn't seem that way.
I see them excel at their given sports. Wyatt pitched in his baseball game last week and McRae earned a very coveted award at his taekwondo ceremony, along with a senior brown belt just today.
I know they know how to be sweet, I've seen it - the way they take care of their little sister and the nice compliments they give me on an almost daily basis.
I know they are good boys.
But sometimes, their inability to be in the same room without yelling, "Let go of my neck," or, "Stop breathing my air," for more than 10 minutes can really get to me.
Boys. They are loud, smelly, weird and capable of speaking in a thousand accents and even more cartoon character voices. They play hard and they love hard. They nurture and destroy all in one fell swoop. They leap and they bound. They do not fancy sitting still.
While I struggle with understanding the way my boys are now, being 9 and 11-years-old, respectively, there is no doubt that with all the unfamiliar territory they heave in my direction each day, so do they bring a love I've never known.
So, for now, I'll keep repeating myself.
I'll say, "Please be kind to your brother," over and over again and I'll encourage them to solve their problems without being mean or using harsh words (or fists).
And I'll remember when they were little, like this:
And they would do anything for each other.
Because beneath their tough exteriors; I know they are, and forever will be, each other's best friend.
The little stinkers.