Free from the responsibility of being role models, you could feel a comfortable lightness at the table. We laughed as we forced Dad to eat kale chips. Mother hardly frowned as Brother purposely and repeatedly belched.
Back then he was 2 (almost 3) and I was 4 (and belches at the table were not permitted). So we couldn't recall much of those days except the news of President Kennedy's assasination preempted Captain Kangaroo. (Apparently we watched a lot of T.V.)
I remembered Walter "Crite-crite" talking as horses pulled a casket through the streets. We shared other special words: teetus cars (VW bug) and dink donker (turn signal). That red M&Ms made you stop, green ones made you go and brown ones made you spin until you fell down.
Those experiences and ones buried so deep I cannot recall them, line the soft place in my heart where my love for Brother lives despite our ups and downs.
These days my two children fight like cats and dogs. It is amazing how mean siblings can be -- hitting the weakest spots with barbs and poisoned arrows. They both frequently swear their lives would be better without one another, and sometimes I almost agree.
Still I hope someday they will sit at my table and tease me the way Brother teased Mother tonight. And they will rediscover the shared love that lies deep within each of them.