My oldest two sons are very different. One stands tall and willowy, the other is shorter and broad.  And they differ not only in their looks but also their personalities. Over the years this has caused moments of conflict.

Eight year old Callum: “I can’t live in the same room as Duncan any longer. He’s so annoying. I need a room of my own!”

I mentally survey the house. “The only free space is the bath. I don’t suppose you want to sleep in the bath?”

Callum is actually considering it. Then he sighs. He knows he has no choice but to continue sharing a bedroom with his older brother.

“You’ll just have to learn to live with one another,” I advise.

And on the whole they have. Yes, there has been the odd moment of trouble…

I can see Duncan dragging an overstuffed garbage bag down the hall towards the garage. An hour later, Callum comes home and heads straight for the boys’ room. Two minutes later…

“Where’s all my clothes? If you’ve put them in the garage again…” He scowls at Duncan as he marches off in search of something to wear.

 Duncan defends his actions:  “I asked you to pick them up dozens of times. I hate living in a messy room.”

Yes, my oldest two boys are very different but they have managed to share a room for 19 years without coming to serious blows.

I sometimes wonder what kind of relationship they would have if we had happened to have that spare room Callum wanted. Would they have grown up ignoring each other, refusing to make allowances for each other? Would they still be friends despite their differences?

This morning my three men went go-karting together. It is Duncan’s birthday. They left with smiles of anticipation on their faces and returned with grins a mile wide, full of stories to share.

“Dad and I tied for fastest lap of the session,” boasts competitive Callum. He wants so much to be better than Andy.

“Duncan gets the award for the most dangerous driver,” announces Andy.

Captain Duncan Slow grins. There was no chance he was going to win the race. And he doesn’t care.

I look at my young-men-sons as they describe every turn of the steering wheel, every bend in the track. How did I grow such big people, such very special but different people? Different but still friends.

But I have another son: Thomas. I wonder what he would have been like. Perhaps quiet and tidy and reliable like Duncan or maybe outgoing and charming and messy like Callum? Or would he have been completely different from both his brothers? This I am certain of: at the age of nearly twelve he would have followed his brothers around everywhere. They would have been his heroes, his best friends. But would they have noticed him and been patient with him? Or would they have considered him a pest?

Somehow I can’t imagine my three sons sharing a room. The boys’ room is already overcrowded.

I imagine…

Callum: “I can’t live in the same room as Duncan and Thomas any longer. They are so annoying. I need a room of my own!”

I mentally survey the house. “The only free space is the bath.”

Callum: “Thomas, how do you feel about sleeping in the bath?”

Happy Birthday Duncan! 
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  1. Best wishes to Duncan and your whole family.

    God bless.

  2. I enjoyed this because my two boys are like your sons. Very different. And they did not get along at all. Until they were both adults. Now they are best friends. I just love seeing that!
    As for Thomas, maybe they would have been protective of them. Now he is looking out for them - their own saint, probably laughing at their quarrels!

  3. how do you get the header?
    Mum wants to know.
    Love Sara

    Ps. could you reply on my blog?

  4. Love it! You have two very handsome boys! Sharing surely won't kill them - what doesn't kill you makes you stronger, right? I had a boy and a girl seven years apart sharing a room for a few years - couldn't help it - no more space (unless I count the bathtub, as you did!!) Now our little man sleeps on a mat in a different room each night, since my daughter (now 13) needs a bit of privacy. He seems generally happy and well adjusted. Your young men do too!

  5. Sue, My two boys sound just like yours. My older son is so orderly and neat, my younger, a total slob! They are still young and have a lot of years of room sharing a head of them! I hope they are able to work it out as your boys have, or we may have one sleeping in the bathroom any day now!!!! :)

  6. I love your new header Sue! Did you make it through that site called piknik or something like that? It looks great!

  7. Colleen, it's funny how two children in the same family can be so different, isn't it?

    I am sure you are right about the boys protecting Thomas. I am sitting here wondering what life could have been like... One day they will all laugh together!

    God bless!

  8. Dana,

    Children seem to adjust very well to the circumstances of family life. To have brothers and sisters and lots of love must be the best thing in the world! Children don't need much apart from love, certainly not rooms of their own.

    I bet you are quite right and your son is very happy despite his lack of bedroom. Is he the youngest? If so, one day he will finally inherit a bedroom but I suppose he'll miss his siblings...

    Thank you for stopping by!

  9. Sara and Noreen, I am so glad you like my new header. I started playing around with it the day before we went on our beach holiday. I should have been packing but I got carried away experimenting with my blog design!

    Yes, Noreen, I used Picnik. The header is a collage of photos I have used in my blog posts. The top row of the collage I left blank - no photos. Later, I saved the collage and then added the text to the top row. It was very easy!

    Sara, I will hop over to your blog and leave the details for your mum.

  10. Kari,

    I am convinced that having to share a bedroom was the best thing that could have happened to my boys. They could so easily have gone their separate ways instead of learning about compromise and appreciating each other's good points. I have to admit it was difficult at times...but they really had no choice but to learn to live with each other.

    I am sure your boys will work everything out too!

    Thank you for stopping and sharing.
    God bless.

  11. My girls sound like your boys from years gone by. These girls of mine... Branch - an organizer (well, at least it all must look tidy). She cannot stand the mess. Blossom - oh, my... she plays by first dumping everything on the floor... in search of one silly Barbie shoe that should have been in the little bag to hold all of Barbie's clothes and such. Alas, the shoe is in the other room, the mess is on the floor, the play has begun and the mess stays. Branch always asked for her own room - a place that could be kept tidy. NOW, the "poor thing" is living in an RV... all 4 kids sharing the same space for a bedroom! Boy, her life got turned upside down! I hope that she is learning to love her siblings in spite of their messes!!

  12. Wow! I admire you Elm, living in a RV with 4 children! What a learning experience that must be. I bet everyone has to have a lot of patience with each other. I am constantly amazed how siblings can be so alike but so very different at the same time. And yes! I am sure, despite the irritating differences, siblings love each other very much.


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