A mother always knows
I thought having children close in age would be a good idea. I was wrong. Oh was I wrong!
My sons, born fourteen months apart, started out okay, but when they were three and four were often at war. They had islands of unity, but most often, war.
As they grew, I always knew when their internecine war was in progress; I suddenly became the Sun in the solar system.
My sons would suddenly flock, full of smiles and chatter, competing for the "Mommy Likes Me The BEST!" award.
When they were little, it was usually First One who would beat Second One to my side. His attempts to 'Win' me were so overdone they were ridiculous.
The Second One, (who gave the appearance of being Mind Dead) never seemed to do anything, but had his ways of getting attention.
Six years after the birth of my second son I had my daughter. The only girl should be the princess for her brothers.
She became the pawn in their games. Interestingly, the Middle one was far better at controlling her than the Big One.
I'd be a hypocrite of the first order if I denied keeping secrets from my parents. For some reason I didn't want them to know 'anything' about me. My friends had the same mindset.
As I was painfully conscious of my behavior as a child, I couldn't expect different from my own kids. I had a catalogue of memories and had created strategies in dealing with 'secrets'. Mostly, it was examining their actions and constructing logic reasons.
When they grew up and left home, (for I raised them to be fiercely independent) I didn't keep tabs. I did not desire that my kids 'need' me. They could want me, but they weren't to depend on me.
When none of them had use for me, no calls, no emails, I knew things were going well between them. As soon as I got the first call I was aware I was being contacted by the 'Outie'.
I would have warned the Little One not to be a pawn in the boy's games, but she had this presumption, (don't ask where she got it from) in which hiding things from me was her creed.
Now interestly, the dynamic between the boys had always been volatile.
They fluctuated between twins and enemies.
For example, when the Big one was 7 he deliberately failed everything to be left back so he and his brother could be in the same class.
I didn't know how I was to deal with this but felt it wasn't a totally bad thing for them to be twinning.
I assumed the Little one, being the outsider, would not have gotten involved in their games. But she did.
For Years she didn't talk to the Big One because of what the Middle One told her. The Middle One, who'd always longed for power, liked using her as a pawn.
I knew the whole story of the rift between the brother's, getting bits here and there. I knew any attempt I made to warn my daughter would be met with instant defense, so I stayed quiet.
When the brothers reconciled, as they always do, neither had use for her. So she started to contact me. It became every day.
As a Mommy who was used to being recycled, I learned to lock off Skype, take my time in answering emails and keep my phone off during particular 'high traffic' periods.
Soon enough the boys would have another war and she'd be brought back into the fold and forget about me. She'd forget how shabbily they treated her, how they wouldn't take her calls and be dancing around their maypole.
And me, Recycled Mommy, who knew the story, would stay quiet, preparing for the next dose of recycle.