Our boys are as different as they can be. While they have some of the same interests, their approach to life is a full pendulum swing away from each other.
Payton is a risk calculator. When he was younger Tony and I used to wonder if he would work for State Farm. He calculates statistics quickly in his head. He will explain in detail what the odds are of something going right or wrong, of being caught in a hurricane or tornado, and due to statistics/studying he was the one who,when sweet baby Shelby was sleeping soundly on her stomach, would roll her to her back, walk out of her room and say, "Back to sleep... there's a reason its a national campaign."
Benjamin on the other hand loves risk. He loves to live life on edge. He at one point brought the Forest Park train to a stop when he decided to jump off and see if he could live. He did, his mother however nearly did not. Because of Benjamin we have said, "Please don't climb on top of the house." "Don't let people launch you off the see-saw like that again" Over Christmas break, Tony, my mom and I spent about 2 hours one day pulling cactus quills out of his body. The boy knows how to add excitement to any event.
Because of these differences we ask The Lord to bond these brothers hearts, to allow them to see how badly they need each other. They can certainly argue. They are both fiercely competitive which means when they are not on the same team, things get dicey. We have taught and retaught that regardless of sports..."you're both Team Brooks, you're on the same team and realizing that is more important than winning". Every once in awhile it actually seems like they might be listening.
Benjamin's second grade class has studied the Alamo this year at school. The other day at breakfast Benjamin said,"I keep thinking that if I had been at the Alamo maybe we might of won." Payton immediately said, "Benjamin, when there are 1000s of men advancing against you and 150 of your friends, I sincerely hope if you're given the chance you will leave." Benjamin, while chewing his bacon like a cigar said, "but what if I think I can help win?" Payton said, "there are 1000s of them, and 150 of you, I'm begging you, LEAVE." Benjamin then said with even greater conviction, "I'm staying." Payton looked at me, sighed then looked at his brother and said "Great, then we are both dead. You're my brother. I will stay and fight with you. We will die together."
Today as they argued in the backyard over whether or not Benjamin could score a goal when he had called time and was acting like he was tying his shoe, I comforted myself with the thought, if the line in the sand were drawn, my boys would both be on the same side. It was enough to make me smile and yell, "Boys, Remember the Alamo!"