The Legal Genealogist will not go quite so far as to say that the only two words that come to mind in thinking of the growing-up years of a particular younger brother and sister are “sibling rivalry.”
But there is a reason why my parents bought a dishwasher after my older sister Diana and I left home — Diana to the Air Force and me to college — and the dishwashing chores fell to Paul and Kacy.
Diana and I had worked out a system that resulted in mostly clean dishes with a minimum of screams and tears and — more importantly — a minimum of breakage: she washed; I rinsed and, for anything that didn’t fit in the dish rack, dried and put away.
But Paul and Kacy never reached that kind of accommodation. They screamed. They cried. And dishes broke in the process with alarming regularity.
And with a house full of children still at home even after the oldest had left, screams, tears and breakage were things to be avoided if possible.
So by the time the second or third complete set of drinking glasses hadn’t made it through the double-sinks of the dishwashing chores, the dishwashing children were replaced at that chore by a dishwashing machine.
But, as I recall, Kacy and Paul continued to squabble when it came to clearing the table and loading the dishwasher. And about just about everything else in their young lives.
They were pretty good at backing each other up when it came to everyone and everything else — one of Kacy’s favorite memories is being asked by our mother if she knew anything about Paul’s experimentation in certain substances inappropriate for his age group and assuring her that he would never do such a thing, as she sat there herself under the influence of said substances.
But between them? Oh my. The fur flew.
And so much of what they did seemed to be a contest. Right down to having their own families. Paul started out with Rudi. A year later, Kacy had Ian. Paul responded with Max. Kacy delivered Hannah. Paul had Stefan. Kacy had Thomas. Paul wrapped things up with his daughter Katya. Kacy responded with daughter Rose.
Fortunately for family harmony, in the years since, they seem to have outgrown the very worst of sibling rivalry.
Or, I should say, they seemed to.
Until last year.
Last year, when Kacy — younger by not quite 20 months — became a grandmother for the first time.
And Paul was still waiting.
Last November, when Kacy celebrated her birthday, she had a card from son Ian, daughter-of-the-heart Lindsay, and granddaughter Isadora (referred to by her great aunts as Isadorable).
And Paul turned green.
It wasn’t fair, he said. He was older, his kids were older, how could he not have a grandbaby of his own?
Yesterday — February 28th — was Paul’s birthday. And, you might think, as the birthday emails flew, that there might be just a little appearance by the green-eyed monster of sibling rivalry.
But not this year.
Because, just four days earlier, on Tuesday afternoon, Paul’s first grandson — young master Jack — claimed his own branch in our family tree.
Son of daughter Katya and son-of-the-heart Jimmy, he is of course absolutely gorgeous. Seven pounds, 19 inches long, and the spitting image of his mama.
And you might think all was well in the sibling rivalry department.
… Kacy’s second grandchild is due in July, and…