The fact that my brothers and sisters and I (there are five of us) are all alive and thriving as mature adults (I use the word 'mature' loosely) is an absolute miracle.
If you had taken bets when we were, let's say between the ages of seven and fourteen, odds would have favored at least one of us dying in a hilarious - I mean tragic - accident.
Children - when they come in a PACK, like we did - have a job to do. Their job is to try to kill their siblings. Well, not kill. That's going too far. Their job is to flirt with death and dismemberment, stopping just short, right on that borderline, before the incident becomes tragic, just when it is at its funniest.
Our poor parents wanted order in the house. My dad, especially, wanted law and order. He wanted rules to be followed. He wanted calm, quiet, well-behaved children.
He was out-numbered.
One simple truth about The Natural Order Of Things that he overlooked was "The law of brothers."
When there are three or more boys in a house, "The law of brothers" will always overrule any actual laws laid down by parents.
I was the youngest (of the boys - my sister Keren is youngest overall), and I was always being tripped down the stairs, having my head shoved into walls, having my hand grabbed and made into a fist, and then forced into punching my own face, over and over, one or both of my brothers yelling, "Peter, quit hitting yourself. Stop punching your own face!" Then they would let go of my hand and run away laughing.
I almost got them back a few times, with the darts downstairs.
We had actual darts in our house. Darts are actual weapons. We had weapons in our house!
Okay, sure, there was a dart board, and the game in its intended form is an innocent way to pass the time in freindly competition.
BUT....I shouldn't have to point this out...THERE WERE DARTS IN OUR HOUSE....sharp, metal, pointed, flying weapons, in a house with five out-of-control children, three of them boys!
Throwing the darts at the dart board became boring pretty quickly. So....it was a short natural progression from that to - trust me, this makes sense - throwing darts at a family member. Any game of skill is twice as much fun with a moving target!
I could go on. I could talk about head trauma (I was always smashing my head into things), firecrackers, bringing frogs into the house, playing with fire, broken body parts, you know, all of childhood's greatest hits.
The point is, we survived it....barely.
Now put those scissors down! Hey, stop running with them! And get them away from your borther's EYEBALL!
April 15, 2017