In a family this size and at this stage of life, it feels like there is a constant argument or squabble to resolve. But then moments crop up from time to time that show how deeply loyal these boys are to one another. Witnessing that is one of my favorite parts of motherhood.
Like years ago, when Talmage was 5 or 6, he and Wesley were playing outside. Wesley accidentally dropped a toy down inside the window well and was evidently quite upset. Talmage came running inside and told us what had happened. "But I mourned with those that mourn and dropped mine in, too!" he exclaimed.
Or the other day, when I was making a smoothie.
Lincoln was holding Elsie at the time. He hates the loud noise the blender makes, but when I turned on the blender, instead of covering his own ears, he put his hands over Elsie's ears so she wouldn't be bothered by the noise!
Or most recently, on Friday, some neighbors came over and were playing basketball outside on our driveway with Talmage, Wesley, and Maxwell.
There had been an issue with one of the neighbor boys trying to "attack Maxwell," as the boys told me, to take a ball away from him, so I had gone outside to talk to him and explain that, at our house, we need to use words to solve problems. I pumped up another basketball for him and went inside, thinking all was well.
But it wasn't much longer before the boys came back into the house with quite the tale to tell.
Apparently the boy had continued to try to take the ball away from Maxwell after I went inside. Talmage and Wesley had stood up for Maxwell, so the boy went back to his house and came back holding Sprite, ready to throw it at them.
Talmage stood his ground as the boy approached him and calmly told him that even if he dunked him in Sprite, he would not get angry.
The boy shouted, "YES YOU WILL!" and then threw Sprite all over Talmage.
When Talmage didn't retaliate, he told them he was going to kill them.
He went home and came back wearing a mask and holding a metal baseball bat.
He started swinging the bat wildly at them. Talmage, Wesley, and the boy's older brother stood in front of Maxwell to protect him while dodging the bat themselves.
At that point they came inside to tell me what had been happening.
Talmage was covered in sticky Sprite and had to take a shower.
I was horrified to hear the story. These boys play together often and I had not seen this super aggressive side come out before. The mama bear inside me was admittedly quite riled as I thought of him swinging a metal bat at them. Someone could have easily been badly hurt!
But my heart was simultaneously warmed to hear how Talmage and Wesley defended Maxwell and how they physically stood between him and the other boy, protecting him with their own bodies.
I'm so grateful for the bond these sweet children of mine share with each other
and hope it lasts throughout their lives.