Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Sibling Zero-Sum Cycle of Life

The other day Jackson and Diego were engaged in their usual routine, playing until it turned into arguing. Then the arguing became hitting and kicking, which subsequently transformed into crying and tattling. The Sibling Zero-Sum Cycle of Life. I realized that my two boys are (at least) the third straight generation of Fuchs brothers to engage in this sort of behavior.

My early childhood is punctuated by painful memories of red-faced hair-pulling, balled up little fists hammering on bone and flesh, and my younger brother’s notorious tendency to hit me, usually in the back, his little knuckles shaking my spinal cord, and then lock himself in the bathroom.

I suppose a person more religious than I might take this opportunity to refer back to Cain and Abel; however, I’ll just take it back one more generation to Jackson and Diego’s Opa Hanno and his older brother, Geoffrey. As the story goes, my father was running behind his big brother – chasing him, perhaps? – when Jeff slammed the screen door into Hanno’s little face, breaking his nose.

I intend to share this post with my Uncle Geoffrey, the keeper of the family history, to get his take on this sliver of Fuchs family lore. I’d also like to ask him if my Opa Bill had a history of fighting with any of his brothers.

Something tells me I know what the answer to that one will be.

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