Does my son have any idea how much he is adored?
He goes about his day, his life, matter-of-factly. Not often annoyed by his sister, but not picking up the clues.
When she doesn’t want to kill him, she thinks the world of him. So much so that much of what he likes, she now likes.
Pie. My son is obsessed with pie. It’s his favorite dessert. Pumpkin, apple, cherry, coconut, chocolate-cream, banana-cream, lemon-meringue: the type matters not, if it’s pie, he’ll eat it. Well, I haven’t tried serving him Shepherd’s yet.
Because my son loves pie (some would call it an obsession, as his love of the dessert has infiltrated his creative writing assignments and even an art project or two), my daughter has declared that she does, too. She’s started scribbling “Pie! Pie! Pie!” on her school folders. And declares, “I love pie!” frequently.
But when I go to serve it to her, she politely declines.
She doesn’t like pie. She’s always been a cake person.
While her taste buds step in when her sisterly adoration gets carried away, she looks up to him in other ways, too. She wants the same teachers he had, and if he recommends a book to her, she’ll happily settle in with it.
Maybe that’s why an ugly comment or a “Nah, not now” when she asks if he’ll play with her causes her such anger or heartache. He has no idea how much he’s adored.
Occasionally, it does go both ways. The boy is painfully slow to nail down a dive. It would be no big deal, except that he’s now in his second year on the swim team. Oh, the seconds he could shave off his freestyle…
Anyway, tired of tossing bookoo bucks at various swim coaches to teach him a skill his head refuses to grasp, I took a break from his lessons. And then my daughter took over. Turns out, she made more progress than any adult. She patiently explained how to hold his arms just so, and to keep his eyes open as he took aim, head down, at the water. She’d demonstrate, then he’d follow, quickly emerging to the surface. He’d look over to see his sister treading water. She’d beam at him and give him a quick thumbs up. “Almost perfect!” (Hardly, but she sees the glass half-full.)
He’d smile, filled with pride, and climb out, determined to make the next attempt better still.
Does she have any idea how much she is adored?