I was sitting in the living room after school the other day feeding the baby. The bigger kids were playing all around me. Little Luke was standing beside the couch holding my phone while looking for a song to play. He loves doing this. Elle picked up her blankie and walked over to him. She sidled up so close to him that her body was touching his. Slowly, while still looking at the phone, he raised his arm and wrapped it around her shoulder. She slowly turned into him until her little face was resting against his tummy. He put the phone down, took both of his arms and wrapped them around her. The whole thing felt like slow motion. Neither of them said a word. I watched from the chair as they stood like this for about 20 seconds. I couldn’t believe my eyes and my heart . . . it felt like it might explode from happiness.
It was one of those moments that makes the tough times of the day worth it.
These exchanges happen so quickly and I’m not always paying attention or in the room when they do . . . secrets whispered, hugs given, kindness shown.
Sometimes I worry that I don’t have enough time, energy, and patience for them. My limited resources are spread out among four precious, brilliant and very needy people. But I know that whether they are happy or sad, grief stricken or heartbroken, even when they feel alone, they never will be. There will always be a shoulder to cry on, arms to pick them up when they fall and voices to cheer them on. Whether tears are being shed or triumphs are being celebrated, they will be genuinely shared with at least one other person who loves them. Someone will always have their back…and their front and probably both sides too.
I don’t know what Elle needed that day, but I’m glad that Luke was able to give it to her.