[Quiet Thoughts] Whispered Assurance

Photo: Our friends gave us a Playstation Classic for Christmas, and one of the games it comes with is called Intelligent Qube. I don’t know how I missed this game back in the day, but it’s amazing and we’re all having a lot of fun with it. The Husband has gotten the farthest on it so far–level 5. Me and the boys are stuck on Level 2 (to be clear, I’ve gotten the least amount of playtime on the thing). Here I thought I was just going to play Final Fantasy VII again… but this is a delightful distraction instead!


Ursa Major and Ursa Minor have gotten to whispering things. From time to time, the house gets too quiet and I’ll stop what I’m doing to go check in on them. Sometimes quiet is actually what it is: the boys are deep in construction or some other conceptualization, heads down and hands busy. But other times… other times, they are deep in conversation, their voices low, brows furrowed. Twice this week I found them this way.

Minor: “…and he said, 1st graders are banned from the slide. And I said no, that’s not true, and no teachers were around and I didn’t know what to do so I got mad and ran away…”

Major: “Oh, well, I have special permission to go to [the far playground] when it’s recess because everyone knows you’re my brother. So if you want me to go over there and be there with you, I can do that.”

Minor: “You would do that?”

Major: “Yeah, I would! Just wave and I’ll run right to you!”

Many of you Dear Readers are mamas or aunties with kids much older than mine. Perhaps a few of you have witnessed similar acts of awesome. This was my first time and it was just so excellent. It was all I could do to not barge into the playroom and wrap my arms around them both and squeeze and squeeze and squeeze. I didn’t, of course, I slowly backed away. Gotta respect the moment for what it was. Gotta give them space to negotiate and feel safe among themselves.

I will say that Major hasn’t always struck me as the “protective” big brother archetype. Matter of fact, it’s Minor who has been protective of his brother, sometimes coming to tears when witnessing me wrangling Major for hair detangling and such. When he was 2 and 3, Minor was known to smack my hand when I was combing Major’s hair. Now older and he knows better than to do that, but he stands there with an anguished face, tears welling in his eyes. “But it hurts, Mom. You’re hurting him.”

My mom and I joke that the boys will be in high school and some kids will be messing with Major, and Major will say, “Don’t you know who my brother is? You really don’t want me to get him.” Minor has the the build for it and the attitude to boot. I have no doubt he’d kick someone’s ass for messing with Major. He wouldn’t even hesitate.

Anyway, to hear Major step up and be assuring, to be that big brother I expect him to be… it’s heartwarming. It makes me feel better. To hear Minor be vulnerable and share his problem (not unusual) and for Major to respond with kindness and care (sorta unusual) is a pretty significant mom win. Such tender moments will be fleeting for now. They are each others’ best friends and bitterest rivals… but Lordy, I hope that it’s the start of a longer, functional partnership.

My Quiet Thoughts this week about this special, important bond. It’s funny with siblings. You can’t predict how it’s all going to go. I feel like I got a good example from my Mom’s side of the family (she has three siblings), and a more realistic example on Father’s side (he also had three siblings, though one was killed when Father was in his 30s, setting off a chain reaction of significant choices in his life). I am grateful for the fantastic relationship I have with my sister. I pray the boys achieve what we’ve got. I am not sure it’s totally up to me. Moments like this, though, give me a lot of hope.

It’s a windy night here in Massachusetts. There is a crescent moon high in the clear, cold sky.  Winter returns to us with a wild and ferocious roar, her claws swiping and scraping, snapping off limbs and toppling trees. The house responds with a soundscape of its own: the bangs, pops, and hiss of the radiators, the creaks of the floor, the low rumbling snore my husband in our bed. It’s as if the house is staring down Winter, putting a finger to her lips. Hush all that, Winter. There are sleeping babies here inside. Babies who are warm. Babies who are precious. Hush all that and leave them alone.

All is beautiful because we are warm. Almost a month later, warmth is still a miracle. Thanks be to God.

The roaring wind can’t drown out the wishes, Dear Reader. Friday is the perfect time for a wish or two. I wish you a good, good blanket tonight, Dear Reader. One that is well loved and well worn,and reliable. When was the last time you gave it a good look, a good feel between your fingers? When was the last time it got a good wash? (no judgement! lol!) Does it need mending? Use your blanket, but also give your blanket a little love this weekend. I wish you soup, which is my favorite thing. I’m craving some right this second. Get up tomorrow, get some ingredients, then throw them in a pot. Stir, serve, share. Bonus points if you have some crusty bread and cheese on the side. Don’t outsource this to Panera or something–go to the store this weekend and get yourself soup things. You can do it, Dear Reader! It’s worth the work! I wish you a call with someone you love. I wish I could call Grandy this weekend. It’s almost time to fry Kinklings and I’d love nothing more in the whole wide world. I will find someone else to share a little time with instead. That will do and that will do. If there is someone in your life you’ve been meaning to call, do so this weekend. I called Grandy every single Sunday for 10 years and it still wasn’t enough. It just wan’t enough. Don’t wait, because “gone” is such an abrupt and powerful thing. I wish you three good stories: one you share and one you hear and one you read. I wish you three good acts: One you do, one you receive, one you perform with someone else. I wish you a hug that lingers and squeezes, and a whispered “I love you” from someone who means the world to you.

In a world where everything is happening and the entirety of existence seems to be screaming all at once, it’s easy to decide you are nobody and nothing, inconsequential in the larger pattern of things. But you are important to the story. You are the protagonist, the chosen one, the person who matters most. Find powerful verbs to run your life this weekend, Dear Reader. Remember that what you do matters. Remember that you are loved fiercely near and far from where you are. Remember, above all else, that you are pure light, born for the purpose of holding back darkness. When you concentrate, shinning your light as bright as it will glow, you provide a beacon and permission and urgency for others to do the same. So shine, Dear Reader. You’re so beautiful.

Until Monday, take care.


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