I witnessed what might arguably (wow does that word look funny all typed out!) be one of the sweetest acts of brotherhood to come out of my oldest son the other day. There is a bully in our neighborhood. A bully that is just slightly older than Bug. A bully who decided that it was fine for him to talk smack, but not for Bug to talk it right back. A bully who decided that he could just haul off and punch my kid in the face for no reason other than Bug stood up to him. A bully who is very lucky that Bug didn't know where he lived, exactly, because when Bug came home sporting a bright red cheekbone.....his big brother stood up, put his shoes on, and declared he was going to "have a talk" with this bully.
See, here's the deal. Its fine, expected even, for Jock to pick on Bug. But it just ain't cool for anyone else to do it.
And in a related snippet..... when I told that teenager that he just couldn't go have a little talk with a kid in the 8th grade, he looked at me and pouted that I was ruining his fun. "Mom," he said. "You're a ruiner."
I would talk to his English teacher about what they're learning, but I'm just too happy he was protecting his little brother.
When Jock recently heard me state that it was so much more painful to sit by and watch his heart being broken than it ever was to have my own broken, he explained why that was with a very confident, no hesitation at all, response: It's because I'm your kid, and you love me more than you love yourself.
Smart kid, that boy.
Which is probably why I am not upset at all that my kitchen right now resembles some strange combination of art studio/greenhouse. There is an upside down, pointed tip cut off to leave an opening, hanging (or not so much anymore) moss basket mounted on a square wooden board that has been covered in plaster of paris to harden it so that it can be painted and surrounded by some other forms of nature, sitting right in the middle of the counter on the kitchen island.
He smiled while creating that mess. And was teasing me with the plaster spreader thing. Everyone knows when you start smiling at messes like that, and threatening your mother with plaster spreader thingies, you're heart is maybe hurting just a little bit less.