11 year-old boys are a difficult bunch. They lack self-control in all areas. They can’t control their mouths, their bodies, their emotions. Often times, I find myself staring in horrified disbelief at the antics spewing forth from my 11 year-old boy. There is, however, one time that all of the craziness and annoying behaviors are temporarily abandoned. It happens when this boy says to me, “Mom, I’m going to take Sarah for a while and play with her.” Sure, sometimes his definition of playing and mine don’t exactly match (like when he was “showing” her his new gun), but for a brief time, there is self-control and more importantly, a glimpse of the person he will become. The obnoxious character voices are replaced with gentle words of sharing with this baby. The flailing arms and legs are replaced with a warm, comforting lap to sit and rock in. Loud is replaced with quiet. I see that someday, he will indeed grow out of this stage and possess all of those characteristics of a good, strong man that his father and I pray for.
This fall when Bill was coaching Jack’s baseball team, we saw the same phenomenon with all the boys on the team. Whenever baby Sarah was around, they would often gather about her, cooing and talking with her. They laughed at her funny faces and held her hand as they spoke to her. For a tiny baby to have such an impact on these rough and wild boys was amazing to watch. It gave me perspective that they would mature, and frankly, I often times have doubts about this!
I never would have anticipated that Jack and Sarah would have such a special relationship so early on. I honestly would have guessed that Jack would have enjoyed the baby least of all the kids. How wrong I am.