“Sometimes being a brother is even better than being a superhero.”
– Author Marc Brown
Our sweet little Solomon, the youngest baby of three in four years, is our most “march to the beat of his own drummer” child.
He does things the other two never did.
Like banging his head to go to sleep (yes, he makes eye contact, laughs, answers to his name, and is very verbal). Or insisting he pretty much live outside. Or having a fierce independent streak that the others do possess but not quite to the extreme of his. Recently, our little dear’s most entertaining trick has been to take off his diaper during the night thus resulting in a soaked bed by the time I wake him up in the morning. We have begun duct-taping his diaper each night but as we put him to bed on Monday evening, the tape was nowhere to be found.
It is not fun to change crib sheets. In fact, I usually utter a word or two that my children shouldn’t hear when I have to do so. Luckily, they are usually downstairs when I partake in this retched task.
Yesterday, Solomon managed to peel the diaper off his person even as he wore footie pajamas. The dry-as-a-bone diaper was down by his foot while his bed and he were absolutely soaked.
Not the way I wanted to start my day – I’m kinda over this, friends.
I dipped him in the tub then laundered his sheets. We took off for a few errands and when we returned, I opened the washing machine to find that I had accidentally washed the dry diaper in with his bedding. Gummy pellets were all over the inside of the washer thus resulting in yet another monstrous mess I needed to clean up.
Of course, I had to rewash the bedding.
After nap time, I switched the bedding from the washer to the dryer in front of my little people. Big mistake.
Solomon, after catching a glimpse of his beloved “bankie”, insisted he have it right then and there. I told him that it was still wet and he would need to wait until it was dry as I closed the dryer and began the cycle.
He was not happy.
In the least.
A toddler tantrum ensued and there was no stopping it. It was loud. It was dramatic. It was heart-wrenching.
After he flung himself on the floor, I noticed that Sawyer started to quietly walk upstairs. I wondered what he was doing but turned my attention back to the loud, red, toddler convulsing in our laundry room. I was unsuccessfully trying to redirect.
I eventually lost my compassion for him.
As I was walking back to the kitchen, I passed Sawyer who was holding a little green stuffed frog.
I knew what was about to happen so I stopped to watch.
Sure enough, Sawyer walked over to his screaming brother and sweetly handed the frog to him. At first, Solomon pushed it away and the crestfallen look on Sawyer’s face broke my heart a second time in five minutes.
Then, Solomon reached for it and hugged it – he finally stopped crying.
I made a huge deal about the compassion Sawyer showed. I told him he was the only one who could make Solomon happy. I told him he did exactly what Jesus would have done – offered comfort to those who needed it. I told him he taught me something because I had given up and he had pursued.
His chest puffed up and I could tell that he was really feeling good about himself. He walked a little taller and I could see that he felt good that he had shown such compassion to his younger brother.
Sometimes I worry about Sawyer. While I love everything about him and would not change one thing, he’s incredibly energetic, easily distracted, and a bit of a handful. “Spirited” is the perfect word to describe him.
But I’m not sure I’m worried much about him anymore.
The most important attribute I hope to teach my children is compassion. To reach out. To love. To comfort.
His teachers told me last week at his conference that he is incredibly sensitive to those who are sad. To those who need a hug or a smile.
I have never been prouder of that sweet, ornery boy. He still makes me a little tired, but I’m not worried anymore. I love that spirit. I don’t want to ever see it leave him and yet, I am so thankful to see his compassion developing as well.
Sawyer was Solomon’s superhero yesterday. He was his mama’s, too.