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Few things in life surpass the delight of being mostly asleep and feeling someone lay a blanket over you to keep you warm. It is a magically cozy feeling, a coziness that starts way inside the heart and through dreams. It is one of those simple gestures of love that one person makes to another.  A way to say: I am loving and thinking about you and your comfort; I am protecting you while you sleep. To cover someone with warmth and love is to give a true gift. So simple, and it costs nothing: the glow of coziness.

The kiddos and I had a busy morning: we took a long walk and played at a nearby park. When we got home, Eric was sleepy. Katie went to get one of their blankets, and she gently covered him after he had already fallen asleep.

Big Sister tucks in her little brother for a small nap.

 

She tucked him in, saying, “Swaddle him, swaddle him.” Such sweetness…

While he napped, we made lemon bars from some lemons my mom and dad brought back from my grandpa’s land. We talked about how the scent of the lemon zest reminds us of his land and of him.

Using the pastry cutter, Katie helps to make the shortbread crust for the bars.

We also worked on today’s craft/lesson: wax paper “stained glass” hearts. We shaved crayons onto wax paper, folded over the paper, ironed, and then cut out heart shapes. Pictures of the final product still need to be taken, as we have yet to hang them up. That will be tomorrow…

Katie said this project was “the best one we’ve ever done!” (And that’s really saying something, because we have done many, many art projects together. She loved choosing the crayons and color blends. I also let her help with the ironing (carefully).

Katie works on making crayon shavings.

I love my two little people so much. My wish for them is that they will always be the kind of brother and sister to cover one another with a blanket when the air is cold, that their bond will triumph over any test life brings. I see in Katie the loyalty of a big sister and in Eric his totally adoring and trusting eyes. Because one is three and one is 5.5 months, I am often bouncing from one’s needs to the next—and it can get hectic to have them so close in age and still so young. Yet then there are a great many magical moments like today, when I am beyond thankful that they are so close in age and will travel through many of the same life phases together.

And there is so much joy for me, as a mother, to watch my daughter gently tuck in her brother the way I have done for her so many times. It means that she knows, at some deep level that she cannot verbally express, just how much I love her.

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This past year, I became a believer in love at first sight. Before Eric was born, Katie had plans for him to live outside in the fort of her swing set (or glued to the ceiling of the laundry room, her words). Yet from the moment she first saw him, I witnessed a bond develop between them that I know will last their whole lives. She immediately kissed him and held him when she came to see us in the hospital, and her eyes shined with love. She has been loyal and true to him ever since, making up songs about how much she loves him and patiently sharing her mommy and waiting her turn for things that she never had to wait for when she was an only child.

Eric loves her in return. The magic between them is tangible. They both want to see each other first thing in the morning. I am so glad they are as close as they are in age, because they will have the chance to be in the same phases of life together: both teenagers, both in college, even both married and having children. Katie says she never wants to live far away from Eric. To see them together is to see sweetness embodied. He laughs and laughs at her three-year-old antics and expressions. My main goal as a parent is to foster this between them, so that they will always have each other even when I am one day gone.

Of course before Eric was born, I wondered about how Katie would feel sharing her toys. To see her willing and generous heart has been a blessing. Even baby toys that were her favorites, she shares. She includes Eric in our imagination play: he was Mr. Smee this morning. She shares her figurines and princesses and blocks.

It helps that some of Eric’s Christmas toys appeal to Katie, too. Some of those toys Santa picked very intentionally so that Eric could share them and offer reciprocity (like a set of duplo Legos—he can’t play with them now too well, but he can share them and it offers him an “in” to mix with Katie’s Legos later, if technically he owns half of our total Legos). Santa addressed some of their toys to both of them. Santa is not above a little strategic planning to foster the bond. 😉

This morning, we took out our Mega Blocks. Katie has a pink set from her first birthday, and Eric got a fire truck with primary colored Mega Blocks from his grandparents for Christmas. We played together, building a boat, and then I helped Katie to build a tower. “We have twice as many blocks when we share, don’t we?” I emphasized. “Let’s see how high we can build the tower now!”

We managed to build it a little bit taller than Katie’s height.

Eventually it toppled! Time to start anew!

Dressing for the day, Katie and Eric had another sweet moment. Katie shared her “cozy” with her little brother. The “cozy” is the blanket around here. Extremely important. I have to sneak it away sometimes just to wash it.

Eric seemed to know the significance of having “cozy” put on him, because he got a HUGE smile!

Sweet Eric face, so happy to be with his sister.

So, love at first sight does exist, it turns out. I might never have believed in it, except to see it in its pure form: between two little siblings, so pure in their childlike bond.

I gathered my joy through the love between my children today, and I am thankful.