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Dear Kids: For the record, you adore each other.

Our kids are like most siblings: they play together, and they fight together. Sometimes, the screaming is pretty horrifying. And then there are those moments – and those little games and traditions they invent – that warm you right down through to the sub-cockle area of your heart.

{For example, there’s this one funny procedure whenever I give them their vitamins. They have fish-shaped ones and Disney-character-shaped ones – please don’t judge us – and they MUST discuss them every time. They announce the colours they received, and what characters, and what order they eat them in. And then they put up their thumbs in different positions depending on whether their vitamins match or not. I don’t know why or how this came about, but they’re both VERY attached to the ritual.}

Last evening, there was a lot more good and happy play than screaming. (Which I really needed, after three weeks in a row of my Hubbibi on evening shifts.) At one point, they were sitting amicably together in the guest room, having constructed a barrier so each could not see what the other was drawing.

Turns out E was making a present for AB. The next morning there was a note in the advent calendar pocket, which completely turned around a morning that had promised to be very grumpy on her part:

note-to-sister
look in the guest room and you will find a present there

And it led her to this lovely festive drawing…

childrens-christmas-art
Bells are ringing!

And THIS was on the other side.

love-note-from-brother
I can’t even.

I got a bit teary-eyed and all squeezy and kissy with that boy when he showed me. (Which he doesn’t mind as he is a squeezy, kissy type himself. They’re both very affectionate, even with each other, to the point that staff members at their school stop to watch their sweet little goodbyes in the mornings as a pick-me-up.)

And since we’re looking a wee masterpieces, here’s what AB was drawing at the same time.

christmas-drawing
Sort of looks like an underwater scene… But it’s a holiday scene!

The spidery things are suns, and the phallic green-and-brown thing is a Christmas tree (obvs), and the little brown guy is a reindeer, and the swoopy line is a sleigh, and the black dots are buttons on a (non-visible) snowman, and there are also a few flowers and stars sprinkled in there.

So, kids, if you’re reading this and you’ve reached that phase of your lives (because we have to assume it will arrive eventually) where each of you annoys the other ALL THE TIME, please just know that you truly love one another deep down, and you’re a sublime little team when you need to be. We love you kajillions.

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Days of Saints and Souls

Dear Sebastian,

I haven’t written to you as much as I’ve wanted to lately. I didn’t write to you at Thanksgiving, even though I always wish for you at family gatherings. I didn’t write to you on October 15th – Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day – since it was one of those weeks I was barely keeping my head above water. But at such times, I feel that hollow of your absence more deeply, and I wish I could take more time just to think of you.

Today is the first day of November. It’s a day when a lot of people think about their lost loved ones, and celebrate their lives. Your Great-Gramma Sue was born on this date – and now she’s free soul like you. (You probably even hang out with her.)

November is also the time when, for the past two years, I have written a blog post for every day of the month, to challenge myself. This year, I’m going to try a different challenge. Even though life is busier than ever, I’m going to try to carve out a little bit of time every day to work on a project I’ve wanted to do for a long time.

It’s a story about you, a story to read to your brother and sister. Your big brother misses you. I know your sister will wish for you too, when she’s old enough to understand. I want them to have something that helps them think of you and remember that you’re still their brother.

I don’t know how far I’ll be able to get with this project in one month, but I’m hoping to build enough momentum that I can keep going.

So far, it’s in the planning stages, and it looks like this:

storyboard

It felt good today, to do something all about you, something that’s a little bit like celebrating.

I wish I could squeeze you, sweet boy. I’m sending you hugs from my heart.

***


 

 

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