Clara was frustrated, but she obediently turned and came to stand in front of me when I called after her. She looked at the wall behind me and huffed loudly.

“Okay, stop that,” I said. “Take a deep breath and look at me.”

She did, but her mouth was a tight line of defiance.

“Your sister does not deserve for you to talk to her like that.”

She said nothing.

“What Lydia asked you for was not unreasonable. You have to learn to share with your sister. You will always have to share with your sister. And that doesn’t just mean that you are going to share your toys and your room and your bed, but also your time. Sometimes the two of you will do things that you want to do together, and other times you will do things that she wants to you to do.”

“But what she wants to do is dumb!” she snapped.

“Stop!” I took a deep breath. “Stop. Having a brother and a sister is a great blessing. You get to grow up experiencing things you never would experience otherwise and you get to see things in a way you would never have seen them. It means that you get to grow up doing things you don’t want to do, and that will make you stronger.”

She threw her hands in the air, “But I don’t want to do what I don’t want to do!”

I waited for her to hear what she had just said before I started laughing.

She sighed, “Stop laughing at me.”

“But I don’t want to stop laughing. And I don’t even want to want to stop laughing.”

She rolled her eyes.

I waved my hand telling her that she could leave. “Go apologize, and play with your sister.”

When she was gone, I fell back onto the bed and closed my eyes with a silent groan. This conversation was far from over. What greater role do I have in my children’s lives than to be someone that desperately tries to convince them to want to do things that they don’t want to do before they became adults?

I glanced at the clock. Time was running out. I only had about ten more years to go.