Since I was a little girl, I was often fascinated with observing people and places around me. Interestingly, one of my favorites was restaurants. I distinctly remember paying attention to the collective clinging of silverware and glasses; the hum of conversations occurring at every table; the sights and sounds that sang the world around me was alive. I gave great thought to the decor and people’s outfits, features, demeanors.
There was one thing though that has stood out from all the rest – how people treated each other. I wish I could say that every instance I observed was one of kindness, frivolity and compassion; but, that would be an untruth. I am sad to say that I’ve seen glimpses of other people’s lives that revealed bitterness, strife, resentment, revenge, hatred, anger and many other painful sentiments that left me crestfallen.
I remember wishing that if I ever had a family of my own, that love would prevail. I am so grateful that my wish was granted. I often speak affectionately of my sons because they are such bright lights in my life. My two oldest have been such a joy to watch. Their ages are (currently) 5, 8, 13 and 16. Three have had birthdays in the last three weeks, and one will turn 14 next month. Today, I reflect on the bond between “The Bigs” as we call them (vs. “The Littles), and I am enamored.
Life is so different when there’s just one. I still remember what that was like. When one became two, I loved seeing the differences in their personalities and preferences. I marveled at their sameness, and I still wonder how their paths will pan out years from now. Nevertheless, I am most moved – by their love.
I also remember the anguish I saw on the faces of so many – some I knew personally while others were strangers. I remember the divide that severed ties in their families. I even worried when I saw my boys have fights growing up, vehemently disagree, have moments of unkindness or seem terribly inconsiderate. Nevertheless, they always returned to brotherly love.
I’m so glad to know that they share secrets with one another. I quietly laugh at their incessant competitiveness, (at times) excessive testosterone (I’m swimming in it with all these males over here), their fierce defense of one another and stick-togetherness. Next year will be their first year together in high school (freshman and junior). I can imagine the adventures that await them.
My heart finds great joy in their abilities to learn, listen, laugh and forgive. Now, if we could just learn to do that as a human race…what amazing growth we could see. I shudder at the possibilities, and then I pray. I hope you’re praying with me. So thankful for brotherly love.
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