My kids love each other. I know they do. This doesn’t mean they always play nice, though — most of their hours together are peppered with bickering and conflict and disagreement, and just about every five minute someone comes to me in tears over the wrong that was perpetrated against them.
It’s very exhausting.
It’s also very normal, I think. (Or maybe I’m delusional and other people’s kids get along every minute of every day?) I do what I can to diffuse situations, solicit apologies, and help them get along, but it’s not always successful. Many days I’m at my wit’s end, and when I can’t stand it any longer I send everyone to their rooms.
But then there are times like last night. After dinner, they showered, one by one, coming downstairs shiny and clean and dressed in fuzzy pajamas. After I approved their hygiene, they drifted down to our cluttery unfinished basement, where, I was told, Mitzi has been running a Dance Academy. They are preparing for a big recital in May (I was informed) and they needed to practice. Within minutes, the familiar chords of various Beatles songs drifted to the kitchen, where I was doing the dishes.
And for minutes — many, many minutes — there was no fighting. There were encouraging words and applause (yes, I was eavesdropping) as the CD spun through “Let it Be” and “Hey, Jude.” Bedtime loomed, but I just couldn’t break up the party, especially when I peeked and saw Joanna’s interpretive dance to “Blackbird.”
Of course, shortly after that, someone tripped someone else and wailing and yelling ensued. Back to normal. Time for bed.
But, ah, those blissful moments of peace! As infrequent as they are, it gives me hope that someday my quartet will be in harmony, helped, in part, to that slightly more famous quartet, whose words and music have helped bring mine together.
The magic of the Beatles lives on.