“Brotherly love,” said my middle son, our avid football fan after the San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens clinched their conference titles. As the Harbaugh brothers prepare to face each other from opposite sidelines, I do not envy their familial spectators.
I know the competitive spirit of boys all too well! I have done my best to encourage separate interests to avoid opposite sidelines. When two of my boys chose bowling as their main sports, I was thankful they were on the same school team. But, if their Saturday leagues match up, watch out! It is hard for one to distinguish an encouragement from a criticism, while the other tries to shrug off his bantering taunts. No wonder my third son studies karate!
Yet, there is a fierce protectiveness between my three as well. They are quick to defend when someone else offends. One eye may be focused on their tasks, but the other keeps peripheral watch. The desire to prevail is as keen as the pride when the others succeed.
No doubt the Harbaugh brothers will face the same quandary. But, with brotherly love, a win-win is a given.