Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Encouraging Each Other

In a family of seven, one can easily imagine conflict, arguments, chaos. This happens. At times it feels like it happens all the time, but, but, there are just as many sweet, loving moments between the children and from them to us.

Some of those are out of self-interest; they need a partner in crime; water-balloon tossing comes to mind. At times the need is a second body to make something work; for example, asking your little brother to play football when no one else is around. And then that can morph into an adorable gesture; making sure that little brother gets some football gear for his birthday because he knows how happy that would make him. Other times I am simply amazed; three boys playing Legos for hours on end; ages 15, 8 and 6, willingly, pleasantly. Or the girls going on a bike ride together in the heat, and enjoying each others' company.

As for T. and I; I love it when one of the kids offers spontaneous help, hugs or words of wisdom to the adults. Running with Cate is one such opportunity; she can run longer and faster than I can. Still, she will run with me and keep me going with her example and words; "Just don't stop, mama, come on!" Duncan will massage knee caps of an angry sister, brother or parent, explaining that the knee cap is the hardest bone of the body, thus all of the anger accumulates there. Do you know how much it tickles to have one's knee caps tickled? It gets awfully hard to stay mad. Valentine has the sweetest way about her. She can become the most helpful. loving munchkin on the face of the earth, willing to take on any task that needs doing. Charles has the gift of extreme self-sacrifice; he always makes sure the other person has what they want or need before he serves or looks after himself; "no, really Mama, you go first." Gaƫl gives great back massages, pounding out the sore spots like a drummer, followed by a big bear-hug.

So, in the midst of the noise and bedlam, I breathe, and think of the nice moments, knowing they have been and will be again, preferably sooner rather than later.

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