All you need is this kind of love!
All you need is this kind of love!
Lori of Lavender Luz challenges us to look the perfect moment. If you look hard enough, they are all around you, you just might not be seeing. The more you see, the more you will find. Which was my thought as I stood in The Big Brother’s room last night staring at a photo.
But in the beginning…
I was a steadfast on holding onto my motto, “I’m a BOY mom!” My other battle cry, “NO! I am not going to have anymore, have you met my boys?”
The Big Brother had to have been in ear shot of all of this. Afterall, I do have a big mouth. But as is his habit (or anyones, for that matter) he had fine tuned the skill of selective listening.
He was in second grade when the family moved in across the street. A gorgeous family with three adorable little girls. His favorite, Baby Mollie. He couldn’t get enough of her. Blasting into the house he would brag about how good they said he was with her. To which he would use as ammo to plea, “see Mommy, if you have another baby, I can help you, cause I’m good at it.” While I was touched… this was not enough to motivate me for further sleep deprivation.
Another tactic he used in his ongoing argument was his assurance he would not leave me “all alone” in the hospital. “Remember when Little Brother was born and I came to visit you? Wasn’t that nice? If you have another baby I will come and visit you, again.” All very touching but still, I was remembering the much wanted, neglected hamster I had been caring for and was not completely buying what he was selling. Touching as it was.
So, imagine his great joy and delight when much to our surprise, The Big Brother was going to get his wish. A Baby, just what he always had wanted. The newness of his two brothers had worn off long ago so he couldn’t wait for his new brother or sister.
I don’t recall him wishing for a brother or sister but I remember he wanted to name a baby girl, Tootsie. He thought it would be great fun to be able to call her Toots. Boy, girl, he didn’t care, he was on board, 100%.
When Madeline arrived he in love had been making great plans for homecoming. I remember being just so sad for him, when he was told Madeline was rushed back to the hospital and would be there for many weeks. That, was not what he had been planning. He had been practicing for this moment for 9 months.
But good to his word, he was a faithful visitor and from the start, an adoring, loving Big Brother. Any chance he got, he was at her side or picking her up, or squeezing her with all his 10-year-old might. I could just kick myself for all the times I begged him to “give her space”. Because I learned too late he just couldn’t get enough of all that cuteness…no one could.
When finally, Madeline was going strong and spending more of her time at home, Big Brother took full advantage. A favorite memory, I was taking her to get a picture taken in her Easter dress. He skipped a laser tag party, grabbed his Sunday best and insisted on private photo session. And yes…it was that precious.
When Madeline died, within moments I thought, “I cannot tell him, how will I tell him, his much adored, desired Baby Sister is gone.” In the end, I wasn’t even there when he was told. A teacher whose care and compassion carried The Big Brother through that year, was there. She said she will never forget that moment.
As time has passed Big Brother, with some strong faith and guidance, seems to be in a different place. Gone are the days of him asking can we “get” another baby, can we please adopt, Mommy?” The permanence of this loss was too much on his heart and mind but he has seemed to tuck it somewhere inside himself. Slowly, I thought, he had moved on. He had ceased talking as much about her and requesting to “visit” her in Chicago. All healthy, I was assured, but still, caused a sadness in my heart wondering if he thought of her still or had he, perhaps, outgrown his Baby Sister.
But 13 year old’s nature being what it is, I had not thought of a good way to ask without causing any unnecessary trauma. Also, I knew I needed to be happy for this contentment and maybe I should be taking notes.
The Big Brother uses his new treasure, his I-Touch as an alarm. After learning we were going to have a weather delay, I went into his room where he was sleeping to turn off his alarm. I picked up the I-Touch to crack the code on turning off the alarm, then I pressed the button to turn on the screen. And much to my heart’s delight and through a few tears this is the screen saver I saw my Big, Boy’s Boy 13-year-old I-Touch.
Don’t misunderstand, I am very glad that he has found peace. But I cannot tell you the warmth that filled me up to see the Forever Love he has for his Madeline and the quiet ways he has found to keep her close.
My heart is grateful for that perfect moment in time to witness such sweet and tender-hearted love for Madeline that I mistakenly thought had faded away. Perhaps, instead, has found a deeper place to grow.
Walked upstairs and found these strategically positioned outside The Brothers’ bedrooms. Every man for himself………………..
Semi-Wordless Wednesday at Feeling Beachie, check it out!
Not only the last day of the year, but the LAST Monday of the month, as well. Not only does this mean New Year’s Resolutions to make to be broken no later than January 2, but it is also time to reflect on what has been a slice of perfection, for even a split second, in the last month for Perfect Moment Monday with Lori at Write Mind, Open Heart.
Not always easy, especially this month, which has held many challenges. As I have said before, I believe I have done worn out my boot straps from pulling myself up. Soooooooo, guess I’ll just have to buy some new ones, as my Father’s voice continues to echo in my head, “I didn’t raise a whiner, quitter, or complainer.” Thus my Boot Straps are on over night delivery and expect to be back on my feet……….or boots in the next 24 hours.
But while I’ve been “off of my feet” I got to thinking about what could be considered “my perfect moment” this month. This brought me to thinking about Brotherly Love. It seems to be an elusive, intangible bond…………..largely based on the fact that if you have Brotherly Love, you have all rights to trade their toys, eat their favorite cereal, steal their favorite book, blame them for anything missing or broken and beat the crap out of them and you are still assured you have someone to play video games with the rest of the day. I guess that’s what makes Brothers “lucky.”
However, this is not something I think that Johnny, The Big and The Little Brother are giving much thought. I do think they enjoy having a “punching bag” though. It is why I enjoy having a basement door.
Anywhoooooo, as I was saying……………..Brotherly Love, Perfect Moments……………not easy to combine. But alas, I have………
Our home provides enough space that each Brother could have his own room. However, it does not work that way. Birth order having its privileges, The Big Brother does have his own room. Johnny and The Little Brother, they share. Why? Weellll, it must be character building, right?
Truth of the matter is, The Brothers are about the only friends Johnny really has. A nasty side effect of Autism. It makes me really sad at times but does not seem to rattle Johnny too much. He is a solo operator. Another reason it has always been so important for us that The Brothers learn to stick it out and stick together.
Mostly Johnny and The Little Brother get along just fine in their room together. A little bit like the odd couple but mostly okay. Except lately. Lately, there has been some grumbling. Johnny is a very early riser and not always quiet about it. Causing The Little Brother to be up as well. Causing a lot of “arguing” early in the morning. On the other hand when Johnny is ready to go to sleep, do NOT get in his way.
Soooo, I started to think, maybe it’s time. Maybe they need their “own space”. I started to devise a plan for the “break-up” to happen over Christmas break. Shared my plan with The Captain. He was not “on board.” His reasoning, “Johnny spends enough time alone, The Little Brother is his best buddy, I know he’s 9, but Little Brother is going to take one for the team.”
Hmmmm………….guess The Captain needs more convincing. I was mulling all this over until one night……………………
Bedtime………………….and NOT a peaceful one. Johnny and The Little Brother are at it. Pointing fingers and I quote, “You’re annoying, NO YOU’RE annoying…….(get the picture)
Enter Mommy……………KNOCK IT OFF!!! Johnny, “Mom, he’s annoying make him stop doing those noises.” Now……..let me just say this never fails to crack me up when Johnny points the finger because he has just a few quirky ways. Mommy had had it, NOT listening to anymore so I throw up my hands and BELLOW, “That’s it!!! Johnny, get your things, you can sleep in your own room. This news stops him in his tracks. “WHAT?”
Johnny gathers up all things Batman and prepares to move. “Where to?” I tell him to Cousin Amber’s Old room. So, he peaks out the door at the quiet, still room across the hall. Then he turns and looks at his room. All is quiet as he contemplates life on “his own.” Next he looks at me, I continue to stare. Finally, he speaks…………..”Mom, Can’t you just tell LITTLE BROTHER to stop being ANNOYING.”
Up pipes Little Brother……….”OH YEAH!, YOU’RE ANNOYING!” In I chime………………Do YOU want to move to your own room? A look of panic comes across his little face……………………No.
So in true Mommy style I state, with authority, “BOTH OF YOU, STOP BEING ANNOYING AND GO TO SLEEP.”
I turn and exit the room. As I leave I feel a ping of joy and warm fuzzies………………………..Brotherly Love, True Brotherly Love……………maybe for more than a “moment.”
No………….it is NOT a typo, you read correctly, it is called Perfect Moment Monday. Yes……………..I know it is TUESDAY but I thought about my perfect moment on Monday………………..if that counts? However, life got a little in the way on Monday and now, here I am, writing from my own personal time machine. So, Dear Reader, please humor me and play along. Please and thank you!
As has been said, “The best things in life aren’t things at all.” They can’t be bought, wrapped and put under a tree. At times they appear in what you believe to be the mundane of your life. Not at all in those moments marketed to be perfect.
Case in point, the child, who shall remain nameless, that looks at disappointment at his gifts on Christmas Morning when he realizes you really meant he was getting that rated M for mature game. I had already sent my own letter to Santa, was my reply. Sad child, frustrated parent, not so perfect.
I did not have high expectations of Thanksgiving either. When you have lost a family member, no matter the age, you struggle through the day to not be filled with grief and longing for your loved one. This was especially tough since our Precious Madeline’s anniversary is in November and we were struggling so with this 2 year milestone.
However, for her Brothers, we knew we must pull something together and present the makings of a holiday. Possibly complete with a new tradition. Shake it up a bit and give all of us something to anticipate. Something with potential for fun. So that’s what we did. With “four” boys in our home who love history, we headed to Gettysburg the day after Thanksgiving. Excitement abounded……………for The Brothers, as we were going to stay in a hotel WITH a pool. Not something we do much of so they were pretty happy.
Of course, hotel life and all looks good……………….. on paper. Actually having The Brothers together in confining quarters is a different story. Paper………………. not as pretty. We did get a little front room with a pull out sleeper and t.v., etc. Best idea Captain Daddy ever had. Despite our suite, after the car drive and some museum time, The Brothers weren’t really feeling “Brotherly Love.” If my ears didn’t deceive me disparaging remarks were flying under their breaths.
Particularly difficult is managing some of Johnny’s autistic behaviors on the road. Being away can stir up a great deal of anxiety. And Brother being “good” brothers…………….they don’t always display much sympathy and there is a lot of OMG STOP IT, JUST STOP IT. (By all concerned)
So where, you may be thinking, was there any perfect moments in THIS SCENARIO. Like I said before…………….it came out of nowhere, when I was expecting the fists to start flying I discovered this……………….
Things got quiet, so I walked into the suite (cracks me up to call it that) to see if they had left and what to my astonished eyes did I see? The Big Brother and Johnny, the MOST unlikely pair, lying side by side on the bed, with their legs touching…..yes, touching………….. and then I noticed their hands. Their hands were pressed together in that way of comparing and then it happened, their fingers locked together. What an absolute perfect sight for my sad eyes. My heart filled to see Big Brother and Johnny sharing this time, albeit brief, when they were at peace and all was right in our little life for that Perfect Moment.