My brother and I are three years apart. When we were kids, we spent hours occupying ourselves, just coming up with random things to do together.
There was the obstacle course we made in the living room, that we only used when playing the songs, “I Walk the Line” and “Run Around Sue” (I had Dick Clark American Bandstand album that was our soundtrack for a good five years). There were the “time bombs” we made by twisting the swings up as tight as they would twist. There were games of “balloony,” where the object was to never let the balloon touch the ground. There was also “Bull,” where I, the older sibling, would be the mechanical bull to my brother’s cowboy. Thirty years later, there are still things we laugh at and smirk at that no one else really “gets.”
I’m sure we thought we were the only kids in the world doing these things, but I’m pretty sure they’re universal. Last night, I looked over and saw my six-year-old daughter giving her three-year-old brother a bouncy ride on her own back. A simple balloon provides hours of entertainment. They’ve both obsessed with “hot lava” and construct blanket forts like certified engineers.
At times I worry they’re too plugged in; that sharing a You Tube video isn’t really meaningful time spent with one another. But then they start to make up words to the tune of one the songs they like, and I know they really are bonding in their own unique way.
Siblings for sure get the worst of each other, but in watching my children, I see they also get the best. No one can make my daughter laugh harder than my son, no one can cheer him up faster than his big sister.
What did you do with your siblings to pass the time? Are there inside jokes? You can tell me!