When my brother David, his wife, Mary, and their children were here in Greenville last year, their son Steve and our boy John were inseparable. They both talked loud and long about what pals they were.
Their son Dave, same age as our Eddy, got along with all our kids, and their youngest Julie, and our Jeannie fought every time we left them alone to play.
About two weeks ago Mary and their kids arrived from Texas ahead of brother Dave for a vacation here.
Steve and John are still almost inseparable, but not as pals. If they are left alone for more than 10 minutes or play more than 10 minutes, or play together in a group for more than five minutes, our two 6-year- olds come to blows.
Last Friday Steve was playing at Grandma Gauvey’s when he fell on his head. John had nothing to do with it. He was here at home. Since Steve’s mom and dad weren’t there right then, I was elected to take Steve to the hospital emergency room.
After his first storm of tears when he didn’t know what was going to happen, Steven was very brave. He uttered only a few heart felt ouches while the doctor sewed him up.
Saturday evening I heard a definite blood scream from the back yard. John came in with a gash in his forehead. Note, Steven was not here at that time.
As we worked to stop the bleeding, Bill and I came to the conclusion that we’d have to take John to the hospital. That was when his moans were suddenly distinct, “I don’t want any stitches!”
A little psychology seemed to be in order. “Steven was very brave and didn’t cry, so I’m sure you won’t either. The doctor will decide about the stitches.” John stopped crying and just shook.
As the doctor sewed him up, John, too, was very brave, emitting just a few solid ouches.
For his reward, I took him to the Sunshine Nook at the hospital while Bill checked in at the office. John very solemnly looked over the selection of goodies.
“You can have anything you want,” I offered.
“I want to go home,” he said very softly.
“Are you sure you don’t want a toy or something? Anything?” I asked in amazement.
“Well, okay,” he agreed. He picked up a pack of chewing gum and asked, “Now can we go home?”
We came home.
Sunday morning we were getting ready to go to Grandpa and Grandma Gauvey’s for a Fathers’ Day feast. John told me, “I don’t want to go.”
“Why ever in the world not” I asked.
“Cause, if anybody says stitches I might throw up,” he said.
We warned everybody that stitch talk was off limits so John went with us, and the only ones who mentioned stitches were John and Steven. Their words were very short, but the sighs of mutual understanding were very long.
Apparently misery does indeed love company because the battling cousins are pals again.
Kathleen Floyd is a volunteer citizen columnist, who serves The Daily Advocate readers weekly with her columns, Back Around the House and All Around the House. She can be reached at email@example.com. Viewpoints expressed in these opinion pieces are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.