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Since we spend so much of our time arbitering complex peace accords between the warring factions in our house, ceasefires are fleeting. And when they do happen, they are fully appreciated and well worth documenting.

Do you remember that WW1 story when German and Allied troops held unofficial ceasefires to celebrate Christmas? Deep in their trenches, soldiers put down their weapons and sang Christmas carols, buried their dead, and even exchanged gifts. These were moments of shared humanity.

In our home, civility between the three kids is hard to come by. B and I act as judge and jury every single day, settling disputes, handing out sentences, exonerating the other, or allowing the rebuttal. I don’t know if we always get it right, but we try to be fair. We also try not to lose our tempers, but we don’t always get that right either.

But when we do get it right, the harmony and joy in those moments is far more enduring than every single intractable fight they’ve had. Every last one of them.

Of all the things they have been entrusted with, their brotherhood — for us, well that seems the most intrinsic thing by far. We hope we get that right, even after we are long gone