Friday, May 25, 2018
Parenting & Relationships

Sibling rivalries lead to lifetime of memories

An old sage told me once that if I had one child, I would become a playmate, and if I had two children, I would become a referee.

Well, my sons have now reached the age where my wife and I have become referees.

My sons are three years apart in age.

Once, the younger constantly followed the older.

A number of years ago, my older son, who was about 6 at the time, went through a small bit of brush as we left an art museum in my hometown. My father burst into laughter watching my younger son walk over to the same area and fake a fall to emulate his brother.

Today, our 8-year-old son is struggling to stay relevant to a burgeoning 11-year-old middle-schooler. Although the seemingly constant echoes of chaos are disturbing to my wife's irenic sensibilities, I often assure her that our boys are indeed normal.

In fact, I am all too familiar with the frustration of being the youngest as my older brother and I are nine years apart in age. My brother could be dismissive, rude and unkind to a small kid who just wanted to hang out with the "big kids." However, I purposely annoyed him as good as a little brother could, and I did it with glee.

One day during the 1970s, my brother had a few high school friends visiting our home and he had the audacity to close the door and kick me out of the room. I heard the girls through the door telling him to let me stay, while the guys seemed indifferent.

Not to be outdone, I placed a pair of my brother's dirty underwear on the end of a yardstick and slowly crept up to the door. I cracked open the door and slid the yardstick and the prize gently through the opening, and the room began to shake with laughter.

The door burst open and with my brother in hot pursuit, I ran and escaped into our mom's arms while everyone was screaming. I still chuckle about that episode.

Later, just before my brother left for college, he warned me not to touch his books or the holy grail of cool — his reel-to-reel tape recorder that looked just like the one on the television show Mission Impossible.

However, when we returned from taking him to college, the first thing I did was to run my fingers over all his books, and then I actually played his tape recorder while I stood back waiting for it to explode.

If you're a parent, don't worry too much about sibling bickering. I sometimes see the frustration my younger child endures and I promise him that he will survive just as I did years before.

Assuredly, the unique memories that he and his brother will share will last a lifetime.

Keith Berry is a married father of two who lives in the Westchase area.

Comments
An all-ages playlist of the summer songs of 2018? It can be done

An all-ages playlist of the summer songs of 2018? It can be done

Recently I was asked to create a playlist for a summer beach party. An opportunity to procrastinate and mess around on Spotify for a few hours? Yeah, totally, when can I start?I like playlists that are diverse, not just in terms of genre (pop, hip-ho...
Published: 05/24/18
9 things to do indoors on this rainy Memorial Day weekend

9 things to do indoors on this rainy Memorial Day weekend

Itís hard not to think of the Forrest Gump line: "One day it started raining, and it didnít quit for four months." If you are looking for something to do while the current deluge continues, we have some suggestions. There are obvious choices, like ma...
Published: 05/24/18

Tell Me About It: Busy mom wants to check her priorities

Q: As a mother of three young kids holding a full-time job and with a husband who frequently works late evenings and some weekends, I feel my priorities change according to what is in front of me at the time, then Iím reconsidering my choices later.H...
Published: 05/24/18
Top things to do for Memorial Day weekend in Tampa Bay: Concerts, festivals and memorials

Top things to do for Memorial Day weekend in Tampa Bay: Concerts, festivals and memorials

Our editors' picks for things to do this weekend.
Updated: 4 hours ago
Top things to do this weekend: Margarita Festival, Rays’ Kiermaier as Star Wars figure, Nintinder

Top things to do this weekend: Margarita Festival, Rays’ Kiermaier as Star Wars figure, Nintinder

LIME TIME: Tampa Bay Margarita Festival This year, there are twice the bartenders and a new RFID wristband system for less waiting at the two-day Tampa Bay Margarita Festival with a margarita flavor for every taste. Music headliners are the Wallflow...
Published: 05/23/18
John Fogerty, coming to Clearwater, isn’t backing down on protest songs, Parkland and #MeToo

John Fogerty, coming to Clearwater, isn’t backing down on protest songs, Parkland and #MeToo

It’s been 50 years since John Fogerty wrote Fortunate Son, one of the most scathing protest songs from the Vietnam War era. Writing another one with that kind of impact has been a challenge ever since. "Back in the ’80s, I had a couple o...
Published: 05/23/18
What’s in theaters this week: ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story,’ Art and Short Film Mini-Fest

What’s in theaters this week: ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story,’ Art and Short Film Mini-Fest

SHORTS: Art and Short Film Mini-Fest A fundraiser for the [email protected] brings an Art and Short Film Mini-Fest to the studio Thursday, May 24. There will be four short films, an exhibit of artwork by Corinne Leavengood and photography by Diana Lucas Le...
Published: 05/23/18
A weekend of festivals: Sunset Music Fest, 97X Barbecue, WMNFís US Festival tribute

A weekend of festivals: Sunset Music Fest, 97X Barbecue, WMNFís US Festival tribute

THE BEATS GO ON: Sunset Music FestivalAt last yearís Sunset Music Festival, the focus was all on crowd safety. After two fans died from drug overdoses at Tampaís largest annual rave in 2016, organizers heightened security across the board, yielding a...
Published: 05/23/18
5 things to do under $5: Sand mandala construction, Blast Friday, get outdoors at Bass Pros Shops

5 things to do under $5: Sand mandala construction, Blast Friday, get outdoors at Bass Pros Shops

1 Tibetan Monksí Mandala: As part of a Sacred Art Tour, eight Dalai Lama-sanctioned monks from India will be at the Florida CraftArt Galleries for a week to create a sand mandala of the Green Tara, a female representation of the Buddha of Compassion....
Published: 05/23/18

Tell Me About It: Mother-in-law is a habitual line stepper

Mother-in-law is a habitual line stepper"target="_blank">Mother-in-law is a habitual line stepperQ: My son and his family recently moved back to our area. I feel Iíve missed so many milestones, though I did make the effort to visit them every month ...
Published: 05/23/18