When Tommy and I decided to have a second child, one of the biggest motivators (aside from Mother Nature telling me I wanted another one NOW) was our own memories of having a sibling. Aside from the memories of sparring on a daily basis with my sister, I also thought of the times (especially as adults) we had worked together through an issue, gone to an awesome concert, or just enjoyed hanging out.
Some days, I feel like I need a striped jersey and a whistle to keep up with my kids (ages 7 1/2 and 4). Then there are these shining moments where they play peacefully, creating elaborate scenarios and acting them out harmoniously. These moments make the more challenging ones worthwhile.
Yesterday, I had one of my most proud moments as a mother. Not proud in a "My kid is smarter than everyone else" sort of way (though I must say my daughter kicks some serious spelling test tail). This was something much bigger for me. This situation didn't come from anything I had to prod my daughter to do, but from her inherent love for her younger brother.
We were at the pool while visiting family. Both kids were in the shallow end. My son was up to his upper chest, splashing with his sister. There was a girl of about 5, who appeared to have special needs. Her grandmother was watching her from a bit of a distance, when she suddenly walked up and grabbed my son's rash guard with both hands. He didn't freak, but she didn't let go, either. I was about six feet away, watching. I was prepared to intervene, but also was hoping she would let go and I would let the situation work itself out without paranoid Mom jumping in. The girl's older brother attempted to get her off my son, and that is when it become apparent they were going to pull his head under the water. I raced down the steps and went to grab him. Literally before I even knew what happened, he wasn't where I last saw him. I looked to my right, and my daughter was holding him tight. Before I could even respond (and I was watching the entire situation unfold), she had rescued him. It wasn't until later that I really processed this and conveyed to her how very proud I was. She protected her brother, and was quick to respond when he needed her. I didn't have time to even utter a word and she responded. I have never been so proud, and so thankful that my children love one another (even when they are beating up on one another). When I praised her, she said "I won't let any boy or girl mess with my brother."