Not a good photo, I know.
This picture is forever adhered to the glass it is behind, because I keep on my bathroom counter. Warm, humid conditions are not particularly the best for pictures.
There are three tiny frames with pictures of our kids from our first trip to San Diego, in December of 2000.
Oh, how we love San Diego!
This is Tom and Pearl on the Skyfari aerial tram over the San Diego Zoo. Lee was able to capture a moment between them. A moment in which Tom said something or did something that absolutely tickled Pearl to the point of explosive laughter. He was good at that with both her and little brother, James.
Tom and Pearl were great friends for many years. Loved to play with just each other.
When they reached the mid-elementary school years, that changed. Sibling rivalry kicked in and they could barely be in the same room together. I used to tell people, "They can't breath the same air." I didn't have that rivalry with my siblings and neither did Lee. Our siblings are much older than us; making us almost 'only' children. Neither one of us understood how our kids could dislike each other so much. The only thing that united them was their love of their baby brother, James. They were both good to him, but never to each other.
That was the status quo at our house for years. They would have moments where they were peaceful with one another, but mostly they just avoided each other like the plague. Really, he more than she. Tom just thought Pearl was too silly and too random to be related to him.
Last year, things changed. He was a Junior in high school and she in 8th grade. I have no idea what happened, but delighted in it. They could finally breathe the same air!
Now that they are both in high school, I fully expected them to revert to their old ways. Pick, pick, pick. I am thrilled to report that they seem closer than ever. They laugh, they share inside jokes, they tease, and are generally pretty thoughtful to one another. He offers her rides back and forth to school. She worries that he's having trouble with Kay (his girlfriend) if he's particularly grumpy. They text one another, they sneak one another's cell phones and text each other's friends. If one were to leave their Facebook page open, woe to that person! Their 'status' might read something outrageous. The same goes for instant messaging on Facebook.
Yesterday, Tom and Pearl got out of school early because of final exams. I offered to take them shopping for Christmas presents. What a delightful time for me! The time we spent, just the three of us, was Christmas present enough for me. We ate, we laughed, we shopped and no one whined. They even went in together on a Christmas present for James. Instead of splitting the cost, 50/50, Tom insisted on paying more. "I have a job, you don't."
They are such good kids! I am so proud of who they are becoming as young adults.
One thing they do when they are both on Facebook is comment on one another's status'.
She'll say something that is far out or random. Instead of balking at her silliness like he used to do, he'll reply,
her reply is,
"Go to college".
It's a joke between them. I know they both know that it won't be so funny next year when he really goes to college. I know they'll miss each other. What makes me happy is that technology will enable them to continue their relationship. Something that couldn't happen a generation ago. Now he'll know right away if he needs to come home and beat up any boy that breaks Pearl's heart.
They've come full circle.
Love to hate to love again.
Parenting has to be the most glorious, gosh-awful, magnificent job on the planet. I wouldn't miss a minute of it.