Went to a great party on Saturday night. There was a veritable tribe of boys and they spent most of the evening charging up and down the stairs. Leo found some Lego upstairs and was nowhere to be seen while he played with that. However when he was done he came downstairs and wanted to go home and there was no convincing, soothing or firmness that would change his mind. To be fair, we’d been there awhile and he had handled the crowd really well. Owen came over at one point with a bright red face and whined "I want to go home." He was hot and overwhelmed so I got him some water and took him out on the porch to cool off for a few minutes. Then he was revived and yelled "time to run again." The rest of the evening anytime he got overwhelmed he would come grab me and take me out on the porch. As I was just telling my friend Mary (great party Mary!) that’s pretty much the two boys in a nutshell.
They continue to amaze me with their differences and how wonderful each of them is in his own way. As much as I worry about Owen worrying about me—-I know that empathy and kindness is a key part of him. As we were driving home from the church the other day Owen was chattering away in the back seat (because the child NEVER stops talking). At one point I heard him say "those are the two rules I remember." I asked what the rules were and he replied "always take care of your mother and always take care of your grandpa and grandma." When I told Ernie he pointed out that he’d been left out of the equation but I think that’s because it doesn’t occur to the boys that Ernie would need taking care of—-he is all powerful. For better or worse they see that sometimes I need taking care of…..well, they also see how their father cares for me. Anyway….that’s my Owen. Had a rough, rough morning getting him to school today. He told me that school feels like everyone is running a race and he’s coming in last. He did tell me that he’s at the head of the race in music though….
Leo gets more and more grown up. He’s come a long way in dealing with his frustrations and temper and has become incredibly helpful around the house. And for all he complains about his brother he almost always jumps to help him when I ask. Sometimes we even catch him being really, really nice to his brother. And he won’t leave for school without kissing me and won’t let Ernie leave the schoolyard without kissing him goodbye. He’s a curmudgeon with a sense of humor and great sweetness.
After the antique show the other day we stopped at a junky antique mall. It’s the kind of place where we might come across something and the boys will almost certainly come across some cheap little toy to get. Owen zeroed in on a little yellow car that cost a couple of dollars. Leo gasped and came to a standstill when in one of the cases…he saw a Lionel milk car that loaded and unloaded. It was beautiful. It was also $120. That’s almost as much as they are new and it’s not as though it was a cool early one either. I said, "oh Leo, I’m so sorry but that’s WAY too expensive, we just can’t afford that." He never said a word. He didn’t beg for it, he didn’t get angry that he couldn’t have it….he just buried his chin further into his coat and his big brown eyes slowly filled with tears. He didn’t make any noise except for the occasional shaky expelled breath and the nose sniffs. He just slowly shook with heartbreak. I said, "let’s go wait in the van" and he nodded and followed me out. When we got there he just got into his car seat and quietly cried. One of the men from the antique mall knocked on my door and gave me a little toy and said, "that’s for your son." So kind. Leo just held it and cried all the way home. I couldn’t be angry at him a bit….in fact I was rather proud of him as given as how heartbroken he was, he still never begged or expected it….he was just mourning.
My sweet peas.