Passing the hug

Kids are so amazing.  They start out as these tiny little bundles of pure need, pure instinct, pure id, as Freud would say.  And then, somewhere along the way, they show glimmers of what one might call a social conscience.

Case in point: Matthew and Luke have had, up until now, a relationship that borders on the adversarial. This is to be expected when elder brother, who has always had exclusive use of his cherished toys, suddenly finds himself having to share with a younger sibling who is not so good at talking but who excels at taking.  Things get contentious pretty quickly around here.

But then one day last week, when Luke had a cold and felt lousy, Matthew came into the kitchen where I was making a shopping list.  He hovered in the doorway.

“Mommy,” he said.  “I gave Lukey a hug.”

I stopped my list-making and looked at him. “Oh, what a nice thing to do, Matthew,” I told him.  “That was very sweet of you.”

“That’s what big brothers do,” he said simply.

There’s not  much else to do with a statement like that except put down the pencil, go to the doorway, and give your child a huge hug of his own, burying your face in his hair.

I really do live for moments like these.

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