Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Ready or not, here comes the big brother

I am so impressed with Noah. His heart is soft and gentle. He even thinks to ask about things he can do to help, which I suspect, is not normal for a typical 7 year old boy.

This afternoon, he quit playing Wii 15 minutes before his time limit, turned off the TV and asked if he could take Maggy outside to play. (the other two kids were napping, and Maggy had taken an early nap). He was excited and prepared to hold her hand as she navigated the uneven grass, keeping her from harm and the edge of the sidewalk. She loved being outside and walking around in her mud boots.

He helped her over to a halved log that our neighbor has in her garden, primarily for the purpose of my kids sitting pleasures. He grabbed some sticks and encouraged her to believe that they were in a row boat on the ocean, rowing along like Captain Jack Sparrow.

My heart is stirred at the loving compassion from a young boy for his almost helpless and needy younger sister.

Then my heart was stirred for a whole other reason...

While they sat in the garden, a group of 5 kids errupted from the front door of the house across the street. The people that live there moved in back in the fall, but we have yet to really become acquainted, other than a brief introduction to their son and his friends on Halloween. These kids, ranging in age from probably 4 to 10, had nerf dart guns and light sabers and were having a grand time, chasing, jabbing and shooting at each other.

I saw both my children's attention directed fully at the observation of these nieghborhood kids. I came out to Noah and suggested, that, if he wanted to, he could ask to join them. I'd take Maggy inside and he could just go talk to them. After a few moments of thought, and I'm guessing, nervousness, he decided he did want to approach them. I was slowly walking with Maggy to the house when I heard him ask.

My heart sunk as I saw a hesitation in the oldest boy, whom Noah had approached. A quick suggestion from Mom"He's got a light saber inside he could get..?"

"YEAH! Go get it! You can be on our team!"

The only instruction I gave was that he was not to go into anyone's house with out asking me first. Beyond that, I had to release him to this social reality and couldn't interfere any further, because I didn't want myself to. I know he is ready, and I know he's old enough to handle independent play. I am confident in the values and standards that have been ingrained in his mind and heart.

Yet, my heart had a heavy joy in today. This is where we are headed. Parenting will always be about teaching, preparing, encouraging, practicing and then releasing, just a little bit at a time.


  1. Watching your children mature and grow older has to be the most simulateously wonderful and saddening thing in the world!

  2. And scariest! Great job Sarah - brave mama.
    And what a wonderful brother. :)


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