Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Healthy Sibling Competition

It was last week that I began working with a new set of clients.  Our first meeting (one of three) went well.  After an hour of discussing their family dynamic, financial situation, and goals for doing a will and powers of attorney, we had a plan.  My job was to create drafts, which would be discussed at the second meeting.  The last business matter of the day was to set a time and date for the signing.  Done.  And with that the female client says "Yes, I'll have this done before my brother!!"  And a happy smirk enveloped her face.  Apparently they had challenged one another to getting these important papers in place.

Wow, at 65 she is still competitive with her brother.  Instantly I saw into the future, my own daughter being happy she bested her brother at a challenge.  As the mother of a 4 and 2 year old, I routinely find myself asking "who will be the first one with clean teeth?" or "who will get in the car first?"  Off like a flash go my two little ones, eager to out-do their sibling.  I wonder at times if it is a good parenting technique.  Seeing my client's reaction, which evoked a loving yet competitive relationship with a brother that had lasted 65 years, I was content with my decision.

My only hope is that my two kids will know not to wait until they are in their mid-60s to create these important documents.

The author's children, competing to get a better view of the ducks at Peck's Market East in Spring Green, Wis. - M. Gustafson Gervasi, July 2012

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