Thursday, December 10, 2009

Life Motivation

Sometimes it's hard to be the littlest person in the family. Especially if you're a boy and two of the three siblings older than you are brothers. The 'protecting you' mode ended when you learned to stand upright and throw your own punch.

Lucky for Sam, who sits in this place in our family, he has an older sister. A sister who rocked him as a baby, held his hands as he learned to walk, and curled up on the couch with him when it was time to read bedtime stories.

At times he rebels against all of her fussing and nurturing, especially when big brothers are around and he feels a need to demonstrate his independence and toughness. But there were many times on our cross country trip, that he fell back, so easily, into big sister's charms.

For much of the trip she folded up her long legs and sat in the back seat with him, coloring pictures together, sharing headphones on her ipod. And talking. The things they discussed I will never know, but I am confident they will both carry the memory of those chats for years to come.

At one point in the trip Meredith shared with me just a snippet of their latest dialog. Sam was frustrated about something...brothers, or cousins, or just his place in the family. She gave him the pep talk that comes so easily when her youngest brother is hurting.

He thought about her words and then was quiet for a minute or two. Then, looking out the window, as the landscapes rolled by, he said, "Yeah, I guess you're right. Ya know what? You ought to be a motivator when you grow up!"

So my senior daughter, on the cusp of making life plans once she graduates, now has a new suggestion to add to her list of potential careers.

First class, grade A, little brother motivator.

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