The youngest of our travellers has a scar right in the middle of his forehead, only faint, but enough to make a mother wince while strategically running her fingers through her child’s hair. Its origin sits proudly with his elder sister (traveller number two). Annoyed at the time it was taking him to push the doll’s stroller from one side of the street to the other she decided to give him a sisterly helping hand – a little nudge to the back behind play, a nudge that a centre half back would be proud of. Naturally it all went terribly wrong when his little toddler legs lost their way and he landed face first in the asphalt.
There were tears, a quick assessment of the need for a hospital visit. Maybe it was because of his placement as the fourth child (otherwise known as a spare), or perhaps it was our Aussie laid back
negligent parenting style, but we figured a band-aid or plaster with a kiss would suffice.
This was back in the toddler years. Back in the say your sorry and give your brother a hug years. Back when boos boos were kissed, band-aids were distributed, and a dedicated cuddle from Mum while she wiped your eyes and kissed your cheeks made the world a better place. This was BT, before teenagers.
I rarely apply band-aids these days. My guys walk through the door with scrapes, cuts and bruises and make their way to the kitchen to self administer. They proudly display their war wounds. And while my kids still wrestle, push and niggle with each other there is never blood. Apologies in the form of words are requested more so than the apology hug. The idea of telling Mr 13 to hug Miss 14 in the height of a who’s going to sit in the front seat debate is laugh out loud funny.
Perhaps this is why sibling displays of affection mean so much to a parent.
I remember hitting the dance floor with my sister at a wedding, while we cracked ourselves up with our particularly impressive skills I caught the eye of my mother in the crowd, she was watching the two of us with a look of pure joy on her face. I get it now. The simple bliss of realizing you’ve raised kids who like each other, who enjoy each other, and more importantly children who will have each other when you’re gone.
We’ve tried not to talk too much about the softball try outs over the last week, the numbers were large which made the probability seem small. We’d gently prepared for bad news which we were told was to come in the form of an email at 7.30pm. The time came and went, dinner was had, homework completed, we were getting into pj’s and brushing teeth when Ms 14 flew into the room at warp speed with her laptop in hand. She could barely speak, beaming she pointed to the screen “I MADE IT!”
Hearing the fuss the boys ran into the room twenty seconds later.
“What’s happened?” said Mr 10, he’d misread the situation and was looking genuinely concerned.
“I made the team!” she squealed.
Mr 13’s face erupted into a grin as he launched towards her with his arms outstretched.
“OMG! You made it, the best! This is the best! Sooo cool.” They were hugging while jumping up and down.
Transfixed by the moment, I looked on in wonder, kids who were genuinely happy for each other. Sure, it would all be over by breakfast but that moment, bliss.