Simple, Yet Powerful

Lab Puppy "Nala"

The puppy jumped on top of my daughter and started nipping at her arms and legs. It was playful and the intent wasn’t to hurt or to harm. If she were older and not overtired she would have understood this. But she is just short of seven and was exhausted. The tears came quickly and I knew that it was time to drop the groceries and rescue her.

Before I could place them on the floor her older brother had raced over and pulled the dog off of her. The same boy who has been known to tease and torment his little sister was acting as her guardian angel. I watched him pull the dog away and place his body between the two. With one hand he fended off the pup and the other he took her hand.

Alternating between shouting at the dog and speaking softly to his sister he handled the situation beautifully. There is a reason why he is her biggest hero. He may not always like or appreciate it, but in that moment he was the hero. It was love. It was compassion and it was beautiful. They are not different from any other siblings. They fight and when they do it can be war, but they also look out for each other.

I watched for a moment longer and then I swooped in and gently picked her up from the couch. The puppy jumped up on my legs once, but a sharp glare stopped that. My son asked how he could learn to do that as well. Rocking back and forth I stroked my daughter’s hair and explained that the difference in size sometimes is all it takes.

Moments later I heard her begin to snore softly, head on my shoulder and for a moment I remembered the baby she was once was. It reminds me of a ship sailing off to sea. For a very short time it is large and with each moment that passes it becomes smaller until you can no longer see it. It has already happened with her brother. I can’t make out the baby he once was, not in his face or body. He is all boy now and that is good.

I am not really sure that I can do it with her anymore either. Neither one of them are too heavy for me to carry. I can’t imagine a day when they’ll weigh more than I can lift. But that is not really the problem. The issue is length. Their legs and arms dangle every which way. I am not really sure about the last time I had to carry him into the house. I think that I might have had to several months ago. He had been sick. What I remember is feeling his shoes kick my legs, below the knees I should add.

All I know for certain is that on this one day my heart swelled with pride as I watched my son protect his little sister. It was a simple yet powerful reminder that these children of mine have developed a bond that exists outside of their relationships with everyone else. That is simply priceless.

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16 Comments

  1. DadStreet March 24, 2011 at 9:29 pm

    A sweet post indeed.

    Funny, as you know, O and Jake are 1 and 2. I hold them every day and often begin to tear up knowing they’re not “babies” anymore. I know they are still in many ways but as parents we long to hold that very moment forever.

    While your kids might be a bit older than mine you’re still cherishing those special, innocent, youthful moments. Great post friend!

  2. Frelle March 24, 2011 at 9:19 pm

    love. what a great post. thank you for giving a look into their relationship. I’ve seen moments like that recently between my kids, and it really is just exquisite to see.

  3. Janet March 24, 2011 at 4:15 pm

    Jack, aloha. Thank you so much for sharing such a personal part of your life with us. This story is beautiful. How proud you must have been of your son to react without hesitation to protect his sister. Memories such as this are priceless. Again, thank you. Aloha. Janet

  4. Whit March 24, 2011 at 12:00 pm

    Nothing sweeter than that.

  5. TwoBusy March 24, 2011 at 11:51 am

    Understated and quite lovely. Well done, sir. Well done, indeed.

  6. Talkative Taurus March 24, 2011 at 11:49 am

    There is no doubt that most siblings have that “I can make fun of her but you can’t” attitude about each other. It’s a beautiful thing when you get to see something like you witnessed though. We don’t get to pick our family, but sometimes that’s a good thing. 🙂

    What an awesome window into your life!

    • Jack March 24, 2011 at 9:54 pm

      I always tell them that family is just something you’re “stuck” with so they better learn how to get alone. They are good kids, we are lucky.

  7. Abby March 24, 2011 at 10:48 am

    While it might take a few years for them to appreciate this post, it will be simply priceless to them when they realize that they were the muses for your poignant prose. Truly simple, yet powerful.

    Although I’ll admit that I wanted to know more about the dog;)

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