But it's also true that they have learned in their three short years on Earth how to be incredibly sweet, in that guileless way that only small children can be.
Dean, for example, is oh-so-sweet to Clair. He is her little caretaker. It swells my heart 50 sizes to see how he dotes on her.
He tries to help her put her shoes on; he looks for her pacifier when she can't find it. He "feeds" her spoonfuls of his yogurt. He shares (usually happily) almost anything she wants. He tries to interpret her wailings and baby gibberish if we adults seem to be struggling to understand her.
This morning, when we were walking downstairs to prepare to leave for school, she cried, wanting to go with all of us.
I was focused on getting out the door -- and also on not stoking the flames of her sadness by prolonging the departure. Cary was oblivious. But Dean stopped and gave her his little green light-up ring to try to soothe her. When she kept crying, he turned to her and said, "No, no, Clairzee. No crying. You see? I gave you the ring? So don't cry anymore OK?" It was the cutest thing. And you know what? She stopped crying!
She responds to Dean as if he were another parent . The sweetest, sweetest thing I have ever witnessed in my life as a parent is when Dean sings to her -- sings! -- when she is crying to be picked up and I'm busy putting dinner on the table or something similar. His voice gets hushed and he touches her little arm singing, "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star." And EVERY TIME, she stops crying. Every time.
Note: The quiet doesn't last long. Clair is a very insistent child. If she wants to be picked up, no amount of brotherly love will deter her. But for a brief, beautiful moment, she bends in to the sound of his sweetly-singing voice and calms. I swear, I had no idea before having children how much a scene like that could warm me to my core and make me thank God profusely for blessing me so.
Twice now, I've come home from an event late, after the boys are already in bed, walked in their room to check on them, and Cary -- after literally jumping up and down at the sight of me -- has complimented me on my attire. Once he said, "Mommy, you look pretty in that dress." And last night, he said to me, "Mommy, you look pretty in that skirt." (Apparently, my boy likes a woman who shows some leg...)
This is fascinating to me because 1) Cary never notices my clothes in the daytime. The two times these unsolicited compliments have come have been when I've come in his room at night after missing dinner and bathtime. Perhaps I look better in a dimly-lit room? And 2) Cary never compliments ANYONE. My oldest boy is a sweetheart in many ways, but he is not nearly as in tune with other people or even his surroundings as his brother. He truly lives in his own head, so much so that he is often falling or bumping into things, or saying things that come off to others as impertinent, but to him, are just factual observations. It just doesn't occur to him that other people have feelings. (At least not yet.)
Because of that, Cary's compliments make me feel like a million bucks -- like no compliment before has ever made me feel. I know he is saying it for no other reason than that he truly thought it and decided to say it. He isn't trying to butter me up; he wants nothing. He just likes the sight of me in his room, after a long day, before he goes to sleep. I take note of that when I've been out a lot in the evenings and it makes me feel some kind of way. It's why I have two minds about leaving the boys this weekend to go to Atlanta, and the many nights for the next three weeks that I have after-work plans, and the February girls' trip my friends have planned.
After Cary complimented me, I leaned in to hug my baby tight. I said, "Thank youuuuu, sweet boy! That makes Mommy feel happy."
And in my ear, he said, "You're the best girl in the whole world."
|I will miss him so when his hand no longer disappears in mine.|
I am so blessed. Lord. Thank you for these children -- all three of them. I love them so. I'm so thankful You chose me to be their Mom. I hope and pray they will always love each other and us in the same way they do now. I pray they will always know that we think they are the best children in the whole world.