Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Don't Mess with My Brother

Most of the sibling interaction in our house involves either a.) My oldest telling my youngest exactly how to execute a particular task or b.) One of them screaming or crying about something being stolen. There are plenty of tender moments that I painstakenly record on this blog but the reality is that it isn't always roses.  Today, I'm going to tell you a story that gave me a little glimmer of hope that my oldest takes his job as a big brother seriously.

We had finished our respective co-op classes and everyone met in the gym for lunch and basketball.  Half the gym is set up with tables and the other half is open for playing.  They leave a huge bin filled with every kind of ball imaginable and the kids are free to run around and play.  My oldest decided he wanted a second lunch (he'd already devoured the one I packed so that he could eat the candy corn treat) so he sat down to munch on his pizza.  My youngest gets very restless when he's tired and decided to go play.  I set him loose and went back to drinking my smoothie.  My oldest, however, felt a bit more concerned.

"Mommy, there are some really big kids over there and I can't even see Drew.  Can you see him?"  he asked.  The co-op caters to kids ranging from newborn to eighteen and most of the highschoolers were shooting hoops.  I had had my reservations about letting him go by himself but I kept my eye on him.  "Yep - He's over there trying to get a ball.  See him?"  I asked.  Just then a two year old from Drew's class wandered over swinging a bat around and around in circles just inches from my son's face.  My oldest threw down his pizza and said, "Mommy!  I have to make sure Drew is okay!"  He ran straight to him and stood in front of him until the bat wielding child's mom scooped him up.  My oldest ran back to me and reported in.  "That little boy's Mommy took care of it but I told Drew to be a little more careful.  Let's keep an eye on him," he said.

He ran to check on him at least three more times over the course of lunch when he was worried about him.  I put my arm around him as we walked to the car and kissed his tossled blond head.  "You're a really incredible big brother, you know.  You must have really made Drew feel safe when you protected him today," I said to him.  He puffed out his chest and stood a tiny bit taller.  "Yeah, he probably did," he said.

Do you ever see glimmers of hope when your children are kind to one another?  Write them down, tell a relative or friend that might remember...You'll need it on those days when you feel more like a warden breaking up jail fights than a parent.

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