Last week everyone was sitting around the table. I was sitting on the couch, nursing Paul. So I observed this from the other room. They were all eating dinner, talking about events in the day or whatever was generally on their mind. I heard William tell Peter that he thought Ruth might be feeling a bit left out - since most of his affection has gone to Paul.
Peter couldn't have this, so he immediately got up and went over to Ruth and began giving her big huge squishy hugs. Whatever it was that William observed to cause him to make this comment - he was spot on. Ruth giggled her high pitched delighted squeal she does when she is absolutely ecstatic. Peter hugged and hugged her. Normally - after a moment she shoves him away. But this time she just giggled as he hugged her. It was so incredibly sweet - those kind of moments that makes a Mama Heart melt.
We've had a lot of snow lately. In fact, this has been a record breaking amount of snow within a month...ever. And we received it all over a total of 4 days. 14 inch over 2 of those days with a break, then another 6 or so over another 2 days. The kids were going stir crazy. Monday the roads weren't really bad and so I sent all the kids to the daycare. (School had been cancelled for Rebekah.) After a week of mostly being at home - I felt getting out of the house was something they needed and I couldn't really provide them by myself.
When they walked in the door that afternoon I asked Rebekah how her day was. "GREAT!" she exclaimed. She went on to tell me that she had to be in Peter's class. (Normally school agers are in a separate class. However, attendance was pretty low for the center overall.) I asked if she got to be a helper - and she said she did. "The only bad thing was that Peter kept hugging me ALL DAY LONG! It was SOOOO annoying!!!" she exclaimed as she waived her hands around for emphasis.
I chuckled a bit and replied "Oh - you loved it. Admit it!"
She smiled and looked down at her feet a moment. "Well yeah..."
My kids not only love each other, but they have a strong desire to BE loved by one another. I find this fascinating, as it isn't something I experienced in my family. I know Ruth and Rebekah have a pretty good relationship right now, but I often worry about Peter and Rebekah's. Peter is so focused on his younger siblings, that he simply knows Rebekah is there. He looks to her for guidance and as a role model - but she doesn't see it. She just sees him smothering the other two. And I think she feels left out sometimes.
As a mom, I have been attempting to teach Peter how to LOVE his sisters...even his older one. I hope the lessons stick well enough that someday when he grows up, he will understand how to make his wife feel loved and cherished. :-)
(By the same token, I am trying to teach the girls how to respect Peter - since that is the language that speaks to men.)
And in the meantime - Peter continues to hug Paul every 2 minutes. The other day William asked Peter to go 30 min without squashing Paul. He lasted about 3.5 minutes.