The Universe — who conveniently speaks to me via my FB timeline — gave me this bit of wisdom before I arrived to babysit my granddaughters this week.
I want my daughter to be kind but I also want her to know she can throat-punch someone if she needs to. — Random FB Meme
I hear them. It’s a bit after 11 AM, I’m still working on my morning coffee — but I can hear them. It doesn’t sound like an all-out battle yet. But I can tell — one is coming.
My older daughter is with me and we discuss The Why of it.
Why do siblings fight like that? And why am I calmer about it now with my granddaughters than I was when she and her sister used to go after each other?
Age is a wonderful Gift. I have to tell you.
From the perspective of living a few more decades — I can see what this actually is. It’s a newly formed Pride Of Lioness Cubs testing and strengthening each other so one day as adults their Pride will know each other so well — they will be a finely oiled survival machine for their extended family unit. It’s a safe place to learn social skills. To cross lines of emotional vulnerability and show anger. It’s Sisterhood.
I am not quite through pondering when I hear it.
There it is. The eruption. I go upstairs to make sure no actual blood has been drawn. There has not been. The only bruises are hurt feelings. The only weapons are words.
Today they have managed to separate themselves into neutral corners prior to my arrival.
Well done. Emotions released. No one crossed the line to physical violence. They are learning.
I smile internally.
I remember raising my daughters. My younger daughter (my granddaughters’ mom) gave me a run for my money — a lot. I used to think, “Gosh — this strong personality is really going to serve her well as an adult — but it’s annoying as hell in a 3-year-old!”
Boundaries. We learn them early in Life. From our family of origin. If we are not allowed to act out a bit — feel our emotions — throw a temper tantrum — slam a door — speak our truth — what happens to us?
There’s a balance to teaching kids acceptable social behavior for the most part and letting them know it’s perfectly ok to scream, “NO!” at the top of their lungs when someone — grown-ups included — cross their boundaries.
And its vital for all of them to know — all three to know — it doesn’t matter who they are at any given moment, how they are at any given moment, or what they are feeling at any given moment — the grown-ups in their world have got their backs.
The end of this story? Less than an hour later — all three headed out the door to the park with their aunt.
In the end — maybe not today or even tomorrow — but eventually — The Three Sisters stand together. United by the shared experience of Their Lives. The Love of their parents, their extended family, and yes, even each other — this will bind them together.
Even when at times when they may not particularly want it to.
Because that’s the way A Pride works.