“Siblings that say they never fight are most definitely hiding something.” –Lemony Snicket
Ev began his week merping about his sister. One morning he came down the stairs complaining loudly. I usually can tell Ev is about to go on a long diatribe by the extended intake of breath just before he begins to speak. On this particular morning, he inhaled long and deeply and began with onelongsentencewithouttakingabreath.
“Mom, Lizi is calling me names. She just called me a baby with poopoo pants and I don’t like that and I don’t think so and I don’t want to be that cause I’m a boy and boys aren’t that.”
“Well, Ev, did you tell your sister that you don’t particularly like it when she calls you a baby with poopoo pants?” I ask with my calm voice and the best sincere face I can muster.
“Mo-om,” (insert teenager inflection here) “she KNOWS I don’t like it. She just does it to be obnoxious.”
I can’t keep the smile from forming at the corners of my mouth. He says “obnoxious” with such clarity and intention. I catch Lizi’s eyes in the other room and see her shoulders beginning to shake as she looks away.
Turning toward Ev, I agree, “Yes, you are probably right, Ev, all of us have our obnoxious moments.”
“Hmmph.” He sputters as he marches out of the room.
The love shared by my youngest two children often appears outwardly as thinly veiled frustration, but in their hearts they are completely and utterly devoted to one another. Sometimes I even have the privilege of witnessing it first hand.
Last week sickness invaded our home with a vengeance. No matter how hard I tried to contain them, those sickness germs spread. Unfortunately, the little ones are often hit first and hardest.
Yesterday my poor Little Mister succumbed to this virus/bronchitis/nastyickywhatever.
We washed his hands frequently and kept his head covered and coat zipped up, but the germs at school coupled with the germs at home made for a perfect breeding ground. All of us feel especially sorry for the little man–with his red rimmed eyes, stuffy nose and hacking cough he makes a pretty sad picture. Even Lizi has gone easy on Ev these last couple days.
When Ev went to bed last night, he was really coughing, and I was worried about his breathing in the night. In the morning when I woke, I assumed he had a good night’s rest without too much coughing; I never heard a peep.
Over breakfast I discovered night time wasn’t quite so uneventful.
“How did you sleep Little Wonder?”
“Not so good, Mama. I woke up in the night, but Lizi was there so it was ok.”
“Lizi was there? What do you mean?”
“Well,” (I love when he stories start with “well”. He says it in such amatteroffact nononsense letmetellyouaboutit sort of way.) “I woke up in the night and Lizi laid on the floor next to me and rubbed my head with her cool hand. It felt so good.”
“Yeah. Cause I was coughing. And she gave me some nice fresh water. And I didn’t even spill it. It still is carefully on my shelf right by my bed.”
I love the picture that forms in my mind–gentle sister, cool hands, fresh water.
They must love each other after all, I think to myself.
“What are you smiling about Mama?” Ev asks between bites of yogurt.
“I’m just happy that your sister loves you so very much. It makes me smile.”
Looking at me intently with those wide blue eyes, he proclaims: “Well, I love my sister so much in the whole world!”