Friday, May 25, 2012
We love to read in our house. During Spring Break, we spent an afternoon in the most amazing bookstore I've ever been in...3 floors of books. And my kids begged to stay longer, and to go back the next day. Books! Books! Books! A home can never have too many books!
We have been reading the Little House on the Prairie series and are in the book “Farmer Boy”. If you've read it, you'll may recall where Almanzo’s parents leave the four children to run the farm for a week while they go ten miles away to Uncle Andrews farm for a vacation.
The first thing the 4 siblings did was to make homemade ice cream and eat cake, followed by watermelon for dinner. Then Almanzo sneaked into the pasture with the colts where his father had forbidden him to go.
After our reading I asked my boys, “What would you do if mom & dad left you alone?” They are so innocent at this age, I knew they’d ‘confess’ everything they would do!
Big brother over eagerly replies, “First, I’d go try on all your lipsticks.”
Me smiling, “Hmmm, what else would you do?”
Big brother, “I’d play with all your pretty jewelery.”
Me, “Okay, little guy, what would you do first?”
Wise little brother smugly says, “I’d go quietly rock in my red chair, and I’d look at brother and tell him to stop doing all the sneaky things he is going to do.”
Me: Baaahaaahaaaa! Of course you would!
Friday, May 18, 2012
One recent evening, bedtime was a bit difficult, okay it was a major issue, for Little Brother. He went into one of his moods: dawdling, in his own world, stubborn, defiant, proud, disobedient. It had been a long week and I was frustrated and tired with husband out traveling for work all week.
Little Brother pushed my limits, so I reacted and I told him to get on his pajamas and get in bed. No books, no lotions. When I told him I still loved him even though I needed to give him a consequence I was mostly tired and angry. As he lay with covers pulled up to his chin, body curled into a fetal position, eyes stubborn with unshed tears...well, I gazed at him, right into his eyes and my heart just broke for him.
My precious little boy: only 6 yet so strong willed. So resilient. I scooped him up on my lap and hugged him tightly and gently rocked him. With a quiet gentle voice I whispered, “Is it hard for you being his little brother?”
The dam of tears burst forth and his body shook as he whimpered “Oh yes, mommy!”
He’s only 6. Just six years of life, yet he’s had to bear so much: abandonment, neglect, orphanage, trauma, relocating to a foreign country, Celiac, and a big brother with FASD. Is it any wonder he is strong willed and defiant: it’s his only way to survive what life has thrown at him!
I told him how proud I am of him for being so kind and patient with brother; how I appreciated that he didn’t tease brother or make fun of brother; that he was so compassionate and loving; and that God had picked him as the most perfect brother that Big Brother could ever want. I told him he was such a gift to our family and to brother.
I’m not sure that my words impacted him as much as the tone of my voice, my holding him and rocking him did.
It was good for me to have these moments when something breaks through my weary every-day-mundane routine and I’m able to see beyond Little Brothers stubborn, stand-your-ground-defiant attitude.
I need the reminders that Little Brother is tender and only 6; that his attitude is his protection and defense; that my soft words, my communication and my touch will go much farther with him than a consequence ever will.