Have you ever had one of those rare moments where you catch your child doing something completely kind and loving to another sibling? I experienced that yesterday and it melted my heart.
Monday, Jeremiah had hernia surgery; thus, he cannot jump, run or rough play for two weeks until his incision heals. Ha! Try telling a four-year-old boy that he cannot do these things! Especially one with older brothers. Since Monday, I have become the ultimate Joy Robber and the bearer of bad news as I remind him over and over that he --basically-- cannot be a boy.
So, yesterday we went to the Y so I could get a run in while Eric is out of town. The kids go to the Adventure Center while I work out. They love going and it is usually the highlight of the day--unless you are a four-year-old who has just had surgery. Jeremiah was downcast to say the least. Here he was at an Adventure Center with instructions to not adventure. I was basically rubbing his face in the fact that he is not allowed to run or jump. Suffice to say, as I left him there I had extreme 'Mother's Guilt Syndrome'.
My guilt spurred me to rush through my workout. I couldn't really enjoy it since I was concerned about how he was coping and concerned that he would be tempted to rough play anyway. So imagine my surprise when I picked up my children, totally expecting to retrieve a long-faced four-year-old, but instead was met with absolute contentment! Jeremiah had a paper airplane in his hand and was completely immersed in flying it. I looked around, noticing that every child his age was doing the same thing. As we were leaving, my oldest child--Joshua--filled me in. He explained that he was worried about Jeremiah running and jumping so he had made him a paper airplane to keep him occupied. After making him one, all of the other children had wanted one too. So he spent a large part of his time making the younger kids paper airplanes. (Later that evening, I learned he had watched over Jeremiah the entire time, making sure he didn't get rowdy).
Wow. I am blown away by this tender, protective act of love exchanged between brothers. No, this is not yet what characterizes my children in their relationship with one another. But it is something I desire and pray for daily. I got to see a glimpse of that prayer answered yesterday. I saw progress. It felt good.
"Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth." 1 John 3:18
PS - I feel like I need to tell you this. I broke up a fight between brother and sister while I wrote that last paragraph. :)