I head upstairs to stop the latest altercation between Ri and Matt.
Through the years, my boys have shown me that they can debate, bicker and all-out fight over the most ridiculous things. They fight about what went on in each other’s schools on any given day, even though they all go to different schools. They fight about what they know their brothers are thinking, because it’s often something by which they are offended. They fight about fighting, and I am not even kidding. They are fighting as I write this; fighting about how Riley would like his name pronounced. Rye’-lee, which is very different from the way his brothers have been pronouncing it: Rye’-lee.
Upstairs in the hallway, it only takes a moment to understand the cause of this fight. After years of stupid fights, this one is especially stupid. Riley is certain Matt has been in his room, has trespassed, has interloped. That bastard. And how has Ri deduced this?
“So, you’re starting a fight because your dirty laundry is gone?” I ask him.
“Yes,” says Riley, hands on his hips, face angry.
“You’re accusing your ten year old brother of sneaking into your room and doing your laundry? This is the most plausible explanation you can think of for missing dirty clothes?”
Riley’s face cracks into a grin and he starts to laugh. Even for someone hell-bent on starting a fight, the idea of Matt picking up anyone’s dirty clothes is really funny.