Do you keep a journal – or wish you could get one started? Literary Mama wants to help.
Three times a month, I’ll post a writing prompt. Open a notebook and write for 10 minutes. Don’t worry about grammar or punctuation – just write. Then let the writing simmer and your mind wander for awhile.
And who knows? Maybe you’ll discover a character for your next short story or a theme for a narrative essay. Or maybe you’ll use the idea to create a special holiday card or photo album for someone in your family. However you decide to use your journal entry, I know you’ll enjoy re-reading it months–and years–down the road.
The secret to playing Ping-Pong with my brother, Kevin, lies in his eyes. If there’s a twinkle in the dark blue-green circles, I know there’s also a devious smile on his face — and, he’s planning to serve straight down the outside line.
His serve is low and fast. He often adds a spin to the ball, and if I return it too high, he’s likely to “slam” it right back at me. But, if I catch the twinkle a split second before he swings his paddle, I move a half-step to the left and slant my paddle just enough to return the ball to his left, and weaker, side.
When we were growing up, our games were all about winning. We attacked each other’s weaknesses as much as–if not more than–we concentrated on our individual strengths. Like typical teenagers, we argued about the score, slammed paddles on the table in anger, and stomped out of the room when we lost. There’s a half-inch chunk missing from the table in Mom’s basement, and we’re both positive the other is responsible for it.
But, my memories of our childhood ping-pong games aren’t only of conflict. There was a lot of laughter, too – and many, many lessons about how to accept defeat and how to win graciously. In addition to these social skills, the hours my brother and I spent together helped mold our relationship into the one it is today.
Laurie Kramer, professor of applied family studies in the department of human and community development at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, says a sibling’s influence on a child’s development has a considerable influence on our social and emotional development as adults. One of the most important things parents can do, she adds, is to help foster a supportive relationship between siblings from the very beginning.
That makes sense. After all, the sibling relationship could easily be the longest relationship that many of us will have.
Journal Entry: Write about the childhood activities and events that influenced your present-day relationship with a sibling. Describe one specific interaction. What words were exchanged? How where they spoken?