Small Wonders… or Sibling Love

It was a rough weekend. My arms are swollen and itchy with poison ivy, acquired while doing cleanup at a cemetery on Saturday. My husband is still recovering from some severe vertigo that hit him hard on Sunday. Jane was surprised by an early arrival for which she had not packed supplies. And Daryl… well, Daryl beat himself up.

One of our church members found what he thought was a sturdy grapevine at the cemetery and suggested the boys swing on it. He helped Hal swing and then backed up as Daryl took a turn. Daryl swung into the air and then slammed into the ground when the vine snapped, landing hard on his back. He was ok but didn’t believe it. He walked around gingerly and moaned about his back for some time.

By that evening, however, he had found sufficient distraction from his back. At the hotel, he ran across the courtyard to fetch his swimsuit and tripped, severely skinning his knee. Sorry, kid, we can’t let you in the pool.

He was devastated. Hal was already dressed in his swimsuit so Poppy prepared to take him to the pool. A dark cloud descended over Daryl’s face. He looked as though the world would never be right again.

Jane sat down beside him and wrapped him in a hug. She began to talk softly to him, rubbing his arms and leaning her face in close to his. I expected him to shrug her off like he normally would, but instead he listened. She said, “I know how you feel. I really do. I wanted to go swimming but I can’t either.”

“Yes you can,” he responded. “Nothing is stopping you.”

“Yes it is,” she said. “My period started and so now I can’t go swimming. We are in the same boat. Maybe we can watch some TV instead.”

I had a hard time imagining a nine year old boy being comforted by a story of menstrual distress, but to my great surprise, he cheered up immediately. He scrambled onto the bed across from the TV and waited for his sister to turn it on.

Small wonders. I can’t believe she shared that information and I can’t believe the tactic worked. Small wonders, indeed.