Jackson Five Friday: Brotherly Love, Or Not

Sometimes my sons can make fun out of anything.  And I mean anything, view evidence above.  It’s incredibly satisfying as a mother to see that brotherly love manifest itself in contagious laughter.  After all, sharing a good laugh binds us together in a profound way, even if it is over some enormously silly rendition of Jimmy Crack Corn.

Not all moments can be so loving, but I do wish I could find a way to avoid the kind of unloving encounter that happened yesterday.  My phone hardly ever rings, but I got two calls before 9:15 a.m. and they were both about the same unloving matter.

“At drop off, Sam punched Nate and gave him a bloody nose.”

Honestly, I just wasn’t expecting to have to ask the embarrassing follow-up to the fraternal blood that was spilled:   “Oh dear.  Well,  is there blood in your minivan?”

Sure Nate can sneeze and get a bloody nose, and sure Nate did accidentally step on Sam’s foot climbing out of the minivan at drop-off, nevertheless it sounds as though Sam jacked Nate square in the nose, essentially unprovoked.

And I wasn’t there.  And there was a voluminous amount (by God’s abundant grace none in my carpool buddy’s minivan).  And Sam didn’t act too sorry either.

It’s an interesting psychology: Nate, the familiar middle child, often willing to take it, to laugh it off, to roll with it, and not retaliate.  Sam, the baby, who gets not just a second chance but thousands of them.

Personality and family dynamic differences mandate different parenting styles…to a degree.  But one thing that will NEVER engender brotherly love is favoritism.  Lord in Heaven, help me to love these boys well as individuals, each with my whole heart, in a way that leaves them confident and assured that their mama is for them.  NO MATTER WHAT.  Help me to point them to YOU and to love them not “with words or speech but with actions and in truth” just like the Bible commands (1 John 3:18 NIV).

LORD, please, may the Jacksons, even Sam, be known by their love for one another and not their propensity for boxing.

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