My big accomplishment for the week so far? My two youngest boys were ready for bedtime stories before 8:30 last night – without much prodding from me.

Somehow, the evening routine with my little guys, ages 6 and 7, has begun to take two or three times longer than necessary. This is mostly because they find creative, irritating, and baffling ways to pick on each other at the end of the day when everyone is tired and maybe a little bit cranky.

“Mommmmmm…… he blew boogers all over my bathtub. ON PURPOSE!” Oh, the joys of raising boys…

But last night was our lucky night – we had time to read three stories before bed instead of just one!

Then, right before we could settle down to read, they declared a new holiday. “Opposite Day.” They combed their hair opposite of the natural part, exposing rooster tails and cowlicks. They giggled. They gave each other hugs instead of pushing and shoving. They giggled some more. Instead of glares, they gave each other big exaggerated pirate smiles. (The Tooth Fairy is a regular at our house.)

Then one said, “I love you!” More giggling.

Of course, on opposite day, the “I love you” was said as a joke. However, deep down, I know those two little boys probably do like each other a little more than they care to admit.

Sure, they both had to sit in the corner for quite a while the previous day for fighting. Everyone has kids that start throwing punches over who gets to look at the Children’s Bible right? Gotta love the irony…

However, just a few weeks ago, when the six year old’s football was hijacked by some older kids, the seven year old retrieved it for him. Little tears turned into a smile immediately. They may profess to dislike each other, and I while do catch them bickering, wrestling, and tattling almost daily, I also catch them playing together nicely almost as often.


I know that it’s unrealistic to expect my little boys to be in agreement all the time, or even most of the time. For now, I know it’s all pretty innocent and normal. It’s like watching kittens in the backyard – one minute they’re engaged in the heat of battle, and the next minute they’re contentedly snuggled together. I hope that when my little boys are older, they’re still laughing, and I hope I still get to witness the goofiness.

Like hugs on “Opposite Day” that deep down, really do convey brotherly love.

Diane Karr

Diane Karr lives on a family farm in south central Nebraska with her husband and four sons. Besides chasing after her busy boys and the farm, she volunteers as a church organist. Diane graduated from UNL in 1996 as an agribusiness major, shares stories about farm life at, and is a volunteer for CommonGround Nebraska. She also enjoys Husker football, hazelnut lattes, cooking and baking, boating, photography, and spending time with family and friends.