A Bit of Background
I belong to Generation X. Does it matter what generation I belong to? Maybe or maybe not. However, I thought I’d add it to this story. I’m the parent of three Millennials (Generation Y) and one Generation Z (iGen or Centennial). The Generation Z child could fall under Millennial depending on the list and the website. However, I’ll keep him under Generation Z. These four individuals share some similarities but their differences are extremely noticeable.
I have two sons. The older son was born on November 22nd and his brother was born on October 22nd, a month before his 10th birthday. And, I have a side note. My daughters have the same birthdate but are a year apart. Now, back to my tale.
When my sons were younger, my youngest son idolized his older brother. They both loved playing games and were roommates. Despite their age difference, they seemed to coexist without any apparent issues. Then, my youngest son got older and started imparting his thoughts onto to anyone who was in his path. This signaled fun times to come.
My youngest son is a thinker. He tends to think about things that average people don’t think about. I’ve experienced countless times of him telling me something that I had to do an internet search to see if it was valid. And, he was correct every time.
Then, one day my youngest son expressed his opinions in a letter on how my oldest son reacted to something I said, which resulted in my youngest son insulting me in the process. This resulted in my oldest son giving my youngest son the silent treatment.
For ten years, they avoided contact with each other. And, as a parent, I tried to bring them together without much success. Should I have sought professional assistance? Maybe or maybe not. However, I didn’t.
The Art of Avoidance
How could I attempt to mend my sons’ relationship when I have a broken relationship with my siblings. It seems to run in the family. I’m not blaming the family dysfunction on how I handle things, but the art of avoidance works for me. I’ve learned that some people will never change their ways. It almost seems like it’s part of their genetic makeup.
A Failed Attempt
On Christmas morning 2018, I was in the kitchen finishing up a dish. When I walked into my bedroom, I saw a large wrapped gift on my bed. When I opened it, I was pleasantly surprised. It was the computer that I had wanted with a card attached. I thanked my oldest son. Then, he told me the back story.
My oldest son told me that he approached my youngest son around Thanksgiving 2018 about purchasing me a new computer. He attempted to talk him into contributing and presenting it as a gift from the both of them. Well, my youngest son felt that I didn’t need another computer and refused to contribute. And, he didn’t offer any other gift idea, which is fine with me because I wasn’t expecting anything.
So, I took it all in and thought nothing more about it. Hours later, my youngest son came into my room and looked at the computer. Then, he told me his side of the story and made the comment that the gift was a white elephant. And, he felt I didn’t need another computer because I already had two. Well, one was a work computer running Windows 8.1. The other one ran Windows 10. However, the “Blue Screen of Death” occasionally popped up on it. I had recently got it back operational and knew I’d be replacing it sometime in 2019. I gave him the side eye and said no more.
Well, it bothered me what my youngest son said. So, I told his brother. My oldest son wasn’t happy and wanted to have a discussion with him. I told him not to. However, they had a conversation. I didn’t hear an outburst. However, I was told my youngest son doesn’t like to be confronted and my oldest son told him to keep his name out of his mouth.
This conversation resulted in my youngest son giving me the silent treatment. I have managed to get one good morning out of him. And, one time he uttered an “excuse me”. Other than that, it has been crickets.
I look back at Christmas 2018 and wonder how a good gesture could go so wrong. People have differences in opinions. Disagreements are inevitable. Sometimes, you have to give people their space. I love my sons. And, I can’t control their thoughts or actions. I can only love them and give them advice.
I’d rather them not speak to each other than to harm one another. At least, they’re not warriors. Many lives have been lost over the silliest of things. Hopefully, one day they’ll speak again and exhibit brotherly love. Until that day comes, I wish them peace and happiness.