A few weeks ago, I saw my 7 year old daughter, Iris, and my 5 year old son, Bency walking up the driveway from their walk home from school. Iris was slightly bent over carrying something about the size of a newborn baby. After further inspection I realized it was a huge chunk of ice.
As they entered the house I inquired about the 15 lb. block that Iris deposited in our backyard. She said Bency found it on the sidewalk 2 blocks away and really wanted it, but he wasn’t strong enough to carry it home so she did it for him. She stated this with a bit of exasperation and an eye roll.
This little tidbit of information made my heart sing. I know that sounds crazy. Why would anyone be excited about a block of ice?
You see there was a time when I wasn’t sure how the relationship between Iris and Bency was going to play out. Iris could be very bossy and controlling. Take for example this conversation I overheard in 2009:
Iris: “Bency, what headband do you want to wear?”
Bency: “No, headband Iris.”
Iris: (in an irritated, louder voice): “I SAID, WHAT HEADBAND DO YOU WANT TO WEAR?”
Bency (in a forlorn voice): “The pink one Iris.”
I took this as a sign that Bency would forever bow down to his big sister and forever be sentenced to a life of playing tea party and dress up. Over time they have found their balance and it has been a relationship of give and take between the two. Bency no longer is submitted to dressing up like a girl and Iris indulges him by playing Super Heroes and dinosaurs. They are partners in crime and thick as thieves.
Last winter, Iris and Bency had the bathroom occupied for a long time applying temporary tattoos. Bency abruptly ran out and started heading upstairs. I asked where he was going and he said he was suddenly very tired and needed a nap (unheard of). Later I discovered a lower of three shelves holding towels in the bathroom was knocked down. I questioned both children and no one knew what happened but kept giving each other sideways glances. I then told them I would be reviewing the video footage from my secret spyware. Bency caved at this point, throwing his hands to his forehead shouting, “I confess, I confess. It was me.”
Why didn’t Iris give him up when she had the chance? Maybe she knew this was in her future:
A few months ago, the children had been playing in Bency’s room. A few days later I noticed the black wrought iron curtain rod bent down on one side that I’m sure could have only been caused by someone swinging or pulling on Bency’s cowboy printed curtain. When I asked Iris and Bency about this they tried to mask their guilt with a halfhearted attempt of disbelief and shock. I got nowhere with my continued questioning or little white lie of reviewing my secret spyware.
Later that night, my husband called the kids into the living room to ask them about the bent curtain rod. Both kids stood in front of him with their arms behind their backs and again claimed their innocence and tried their best to act appalled that anyone would possibly think it was one of them. As they stood there fumbling with their words and sweat starting to pop out on their brow; Bency put his arm down to his side and nudged Iris. Iris then grasped Bency’s hand and I saw Bency give her hand a squeeze and give her a look out of the corner of his eye.
My husband and I both witnessed this and we looked at each other with an amusing smile. I had to leave the room before I exploded with laughter and my husband dismissed them from the room.
Later than night, Iris came to us and admitted it had been her and that she was sorry she had pulled on the curtain.
We weren’t mad. In fact we were happy (we didn’t let her know that). It was amazing to see that show of support from Bency; that little squeeze of her hand to signal that he had her back and he wasn’t about to give her up for nothing.
Everyone needs someone in their life to give their hand a squeeze during hard times and to carry the load when things get too heavy. We all need someone to have our back. We all need a partner in crime.