Friday, April 11, 2008

bus stop days

my middle child is a son, 12 years old and almost as tall as me. He is sometimes gruff and he is always of few words. Honor roll, brilliant mind, he gathers his words and only doles them out when necessary. He is a lot like his father, quiet and mercurial. But he is a lot like me, too. He has a tender heart and is easily hurt. He just doesnt show it much. But this boy loves SO fully. He is a favorite with little kids, he has been "MY Jesse" to many a toddler. He loves new babies, and will sit and stroke their faces and hands for as long as their mothers will let him hold them. He is very tender-hearted and has one of the gentlest spirits I have ever known in a tough guy. He is the kid that used to climb in the crib with his baby sister if she cried, carry her everywhere, and dote on her as though she was the best thing in the entire world.
As they have grown a little, their bond has been tested a bit. Like all siblings, they fight sometimes. She can be spoiled, so can he. They both want the tv when they want it, and he really really dislikes her best friend (Who is not very nice to him at all) The last year or so their bond has been stretched, they are both growing up, both past the huggy stage really. Maybe it isnt COOL to be cuddly anymore?
I was perched in my window today, watching them wait for the bus. Usually they will shoot a few hoops or climb snowbanks or throw rocks across the street. Lately, they have sort of tried to find their respective SPOT with one another, they seem to have a mutual respect for being "big". Ciarra is in a wonderful mood today, and has been quite cheerful lately in general. I can usually not hear them when they wait for the bus, it is a fair ways to the busstop. Jesse came ambling down the driveway, she was already there. He put down his laptop and backpack and walked towards her. Sometimes they will spar a little in the morning, grumbling and bossy, and one will complain about the other DOING something or another. It is never more than a sort of playacting, though, like they are SUPPOSED to get on each others nerves. I saw him walk towards her, stand beside her, then reach out an arm and lay it across her shoulders. Then crouch down, lean in, and kiss her cheek. I dont have a clue what precipitated this gesture, but it was sweet to watch. many times, Ciarra will resent him trying to cuddle with her, she is BIG and she isnt a baby. I wasnt sure what was going on, if maybe she was sad and he was comforting her. She leaned back, looked up at him, then threw both arms around his waist and hugged him, hard. They stood looking at each other for a second, and then almost seemed to realize they were being LOVEY, and, well, the bus WAS coming. They stepped back, adjusted their backpacks, and the moment was gone. But I saw it, I recorded it in my mommy file, and I treasured it.

As they grow up, the moments in which they can just LOVE without worrying what the world thinks will be fewer and farther between. He may not climb into bed with her much these days, but if she is sick or sad, I can count on him being there for her. Their bond is so natural, and yet it isnt sticky sweet, he doesnt feel any sense of "burden" towards her, shes just his pesky little sister and only sometimes still CUTE. Generally, she is bossy, opinionated, and too independant to stand still for his hugs. I am happy to see he still gives them, and that she still accepts them, sometimes.

The bus came down over the hill, and I saw them turn. He lets her get on first and I remember the days he had to boost her up the stairs. She is tall, strong, and confidant now, and the big brother role is changing. But the love is still there, and growing every day.


I sometimes watch her as though I am a stranger, and try to view her world as SHE views it. When the bus arrived today, she looked up into the window, saw her best friend, and squealed out loud, waving and running to the bus. I heard the bus driver say "Good morning, sunshine!" and I smiled to myself. We should ALL be greeted this way every day, dont you think? Ciarra's life is joyful. I could ask for NOTHING more.

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