Over five years, God blessed him with two sisters and two girl cousins.
Then, two months after his seventh birthday, his baby brother was born. When the babe outgrew his crib years later and was ready to move into bunk beds, the two boys were ecstatic to share a room.
Despite the difference in age, their bond is strong.
~ ~ Photographs from a spring day earlier this year... ~ ~
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This morning, as the rain poured out of the sky, the youngest descended the steps dressed in a camouflage t-shirt and cargo shorts. The oldest decided to don all camo as well. Together my identically dressed boys climbed into the backseat ready to go to the library. Their giggling sisters climbed in beside them.
Arriving back home, the boys tossed their books onto the family room floor, declared the sky clear enough, and went out to play.
I barely found a spot to place all our books, when in they came. Our oldest held his arm upright, blood dripping down his hand.
He grimaces. Tries to explain, but his face contorts in pain. He forces the words out tightly closed lips, "I fell off the Ripstik."
"Let's get it cleaned up," I try not to cringe as the crimson spreads.
Turning the corner, I see him bent over the sink. Clear running water washing dirt, grime, and blood from his hand. His face is tense. I know it must hurt. I don't want to look, but I have to nurse this wound. It's me or him and he is in no condition to bandage his torn up hand. I gather the cleanser, ointment, and bandages; brace my nerves; and take a peek. Skin and flesh hangs loose, torn off three knuckles. My stomach churns. I clean and bandage his wounds, each individually. He breathes more easily with every placed covering.
He situates himself on the sofa, hand iced and elevated.
The Drummer calls from Connecticut. He's away on business. "How's your day going?"
"Not well. I'm trying to decide if I need to take him to the hospital." We discuss it, making decisions based on what happens next. We wait and pray.
Wounds inspected as bandages are changed. The ice and elevation have helped. Blood flows less.
With the immediate emergency subsiding, I turn my attention to making dinner. Twenty minutes later with pasta boiled, sauce heated, and beans steamed, dinner sets ready on the table.
Tumbling to their chairs, three of the four sit. The youngest is late. Where is he? I call, and he runs through the kitchen to the dining room. He slides into his chair, panting.
"Are you OK?"
"Well, my fingers really hurt. I had to put bandages on them," he gestures toward his right hand, the same hand his brother has injured. My gaze transfers from his face to his hand lying on the table. It is bandaged in a four year old's imitation of his older brother's wrappings. With a serious expression, he motions to two fingers. "These are the worst," he explains.
How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity. Psalm 133:1
Dipping my head, I hide a smile and stifle a giggle. I dare to look at my oldest son who bears the real wound. His face reads humor and love. He smiles at his brother, all love, as the girls burst giggles.
With the Drummer out of town, I ask our oldest to say the blessing. We bow our heads as he prays, thanking God for His blessings.