EVENT 1 - BOY
My mom sent me a ton of balloons for my 30th birthday; balloons that are now floating through the rooms and hallways of my house like haunting specters, their strings dangling from the ceiling like colorful tendrils. I try to imagine what my children must be thinking since this is, conceivably, one of the first times they’ve seen a balloon and been cognoscente enough to be aware of it’s presence. Do they think that they are magical little toys that defy gravity and reason? My son points at them and says, “Bah! Bah!” which, in his broken tribal dialect, means “Ball”… a definition that, I suppose, is not entirely untrue.
Standing at just under the height of your standard counter top, he’s just tall enough to grab the very bottom of the strings in order to tote one of the balloons around the house. The little girl on the other hand (“little” being the operative word here) is just out of reach. She stands underneath the balloon on just her barest tiptoes, stretches her arms out, stretches her little fingers out and the very, very, very tips just barely breeze the bottom of the string. It’s torture in its finest form.
She screams in frustration and throws herself down onto the floor and buries her face in her hands and kicks her feet and there is a great wailing and gnashing of teeth in the Brookbank home. The boy stares at her and stares at the balloon and stares at her and you can tell that something is perhaps processing but probably won’t complete transfer without a little outside help.
I say, “Hey, Rory… hey buddy, will you get the balloon for your sister?”
“Yeah. Will you share the balloon with Quinn?”
And then one of the most magnificent things I have ever seen him do happens. Big Brother reaches up, grabs the balloon string and sticks his hand straight out to his Little Sister. She stares at the string, unsure… but then slowly reaches out and takes it. The tears go away. The screaming stops. The smile appears and the two of them run off to play while I shout after them, “Good job, buddy! Good sharing! Good sharing!”
It’s incredible how proud they make you.
EVENT 2 - GIRL
Yesterday I found myself toting the children out of the house while Jade wrapped up some last minute things inside. We were heading out for a date night but first needed to drop The Boy and The Girl off at a friend’s house. The two of them run towards the porch steps, stop… slowly navigate down them… and then run towards the gate, which is honky-style latched with a trashy piece of chain because our cocker spaniel figured out how to it.
I pull off the honky-style trashy piece of chain just as The Boy grabs the gate and swings it open. Apparently, our cocker spaniel wasn’t the only one who has learned that little trick. The gate flies backwards full force and just ker-slams into Quinns’s face. THUNK! She’s so excited to get into the car though that she just stumbles back a step, pivots around the gate and out into the driveway before stopping and feeling her head.
I kneel down next to her and look at her macaroni and cheese stained face and say, “Quinn… Quinn, are you alright?” and the weirdest thing happens.
She touches the forming bump, looks me in the eyes and says, “Yeah,” before running off towards the car.
This is big. This is huge. This is beyond simple words. This is more than mere baby commands, “Milk!” or “Bah!” or “Bok!”. This was a back and forth conversation.
Houston, we have contact.