They are wrestling in the next room. All too often, one child hits the other too hard, his brother retaliates in fury, and the whole shebang turns into something nasty. Yet, I am loath to stop them, because when they do manage to keep it at the level of play, this is one of the best ways for my boys to interact with one another. Plus, let’s be honest: kids horse around. Some of this crap they have to figure out for themselves.
Every few minutes, one sustains a harder hit than he wanted. He comes running in, crying. Yet, if I suggest that perhaps the game is not fun anymore, they both protest that they want to continue. Well, what the hell. I give the child a kiss and he scampers out to wrestle with his brother again.
Then, inevitably, Benjamin gets hurt. He outweighs Zachary, but he’s younger and gets his feeling hurt more easily. He comes in, wearing the dress-up football helmet. Somewhere along the line, he must have decided that a football helmet is just the thing to protect himself in battle. But, he needs more.
“Mommy,” he sobs. “I want a baseball suit. I want a suit to keep me from getting hurt.”
I hug him and give him a kiss. “Do you think maybe it’s time to stop wrestling?”
“No,” he replies, wiping his nose from under his helmet and heading back out into the living room.
I turn back to the broccoli I was chopping. “Baby,” I say, only to myself. “If there were a suit that could keep you guys from getting hurt, I would buy it. Trust me, I would buy it.”