As the saying goes, "There is a fine line between love and hate", which to me, simply underscores how easy it is to cause or experience both joy and pain in our relationships with those closest to us. Many of us have experienced this in romantic relationships at one time or another and I would say most of us have experienced these seemingly conflicting feelings towards members of our own family.
Although I spent most of my youth being persecuted by my older brother (basically until he left for University when I was 14), the bruises, taunts and insults didn't stop me from worshipping the ground he walked on. There were many, many moments where I hated his guts, but if he was willing to give me the time of day and be nice to me a few minutes later, all was forgiven. Nevertheless, we were not really close, per se, possibly because there were 4 years between us and we were different genders. Therefore our priorities and interests were extremely dissimilar (although Adam claims to this day, my taste in music has been influenced by Dan's).
From the time I was very little, I dreamed of having a sister. To me, a sister would be a best friend and soulmate I would have my entire life. She would stand by me no matter what and we would share everything. Of course I never got to have a sister, but I was thrilled to have two daughters because I was certain that they would be the soulmate to each other that I never had. Ha!
I know that ALL sisters are not best friends and soulmates. I know some who are...and some who are NOT AT ALL.
I desperately want my girls to be close, but I also realize that it really isn't up to me. The relationship they develop between them is theirs.
Most of the time they show absolute love and adoration for each other, but as they get older and play together more, they also fight more. My relaxing Saturday morming was anything but today. The hours before my in-laws came to take the girls out was filled with fights and battles, screaming, whining and door slamming. They fought over food, they fought over toys and they fought over space (the whole "get out of here", "Mommy, she's touching me!" kind of stuff).
By the time my in-laws rang the doorbell, I was ready to give them away to whoever was standing on the front porch, even a complete stranger!
My one consolation so far is that they don't hold grudges. I finally demanded apologies and hugs from each of them. Little A acquiesced immediately and Big A eventually followed suit.
There are so many things in life that you cannot understand until you experience it yourself. I could never understand why our fighting drove my parents so crazy, nor could I understand why my mother has gotten so upset when my brother and I have had falling outs as adults. I get it now. The greatest joy is seeing the love and bond between your children. The biggest fear is that this love and bond will be broken.