Monday, October 6, 2008

Leif & Peter Anthony - Kyoto, Japan, Spring 1982 - Ages 7 & 13

Leif and his older brother were close and spent a lot of time together until Peter Anthony left for the Air Force Academy in the summer of 1987, and most of the time they got along well, but not always. Sometimes Peter, like most older brothers, delighted in teasing Leif or doing small things just to get a rise out of him, such as extending his right arm full length and pointing at Leif. Just that, just pointing. It drove Leif nuts.

If I had a dollar for every time I heard, "Mom, Peter's bugging me," I probably could take the family on a trip. One time, Peter did something that made Leif so angry that he grabbed a chain with a bicycle lock on it and chased Peter, swinging it. Whether he would actually have hit his brother with it, I don't know, although I doubt it. That was after he had the outburst in kindergarten and mostly had his temper under control . . . except when it came to frustration when drawing or building models, and then he'd crumple paper or, in extreme cases, break the model.

It was the usual sibling relationship. I remember when Leif was two-and-a-half and we were on the plane from the USA to Germany. They amused each other for quite some time, and then Peter got tired of it and started to get annoyed. They began squabbling, which annoyed me. Of course, it was primarily boredom at work. They were confined and ran out of things to do. Peter A. said to me, "Why does HE have to be here?" and added some comment about why we couldn't just leave him.

It wasn't long after that that Leif fell asleep. I thought Peter A. would be glad, that now he didn't have to put up with his little brother, but no, in a few minutes he was asking me, "When is he going to wake up?"

I said, "I thought you wanted to be rid of him. Now you are. Why do you want him to wake up?"

His answer was so telling, "I'm bored. There's no one to fight with."

When we got to Germany and moved into quarters in Nurnberg, Peter was eight-and-a-half and Leif was two-and-a-half. Peter quickly started making big deal about Leif not coming into his room. One day, he shoved Leif out and Leif got so upset he started throwing his toys at Peter's door. (This was before the kindergarten incident when he decided no more toy throwing.) But then, not long after that, the two of them were happily playing together and had constructed a big spaceport and city with all their toys.

By the time we moved to Japan in 1980, and Leif was five years old and precocious, they could do more together, though they each had their own friends.

These photos were taken in Kyoto in the spring of 1982 when Peter Anthony was 13 and Leif was 7. They were having a good time pretending and posing, play fighting, and making up imagination games. You can see the fake fist "fight" followed by the very genuine affection. There was a lot of that, and we loved to see it.

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