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He likes you

Sam is 12 and he is holding newborn Oliver. After I fed Ollie this morning, I was reminded I like to eat, too. I asked for a volunteer to hold the baby while I made oatmeal. Three of my boys shouted, “ME!” Sam won, not because he was first but because he was second. The quickest volunteer is too sneezy for my comfort.

I stood up from my corner of the couch. Sam took my place. I turned around and placed Ollie in his arms. They considered each other. Dinosaur Train was on TV. Sam pretends to hate it, but I think he secretly likes watching. I watched him glance back and forth from Ollie to a stegosaurus explaining how wind rushes down his back between the spiny plates. I didn’t catch the rest because I left for the kitchen.

A big pinch of brown sugar, a big dash of dried cranberries, 1/2 cup of old-fashioned oats, 1 cup of water, 2 minutes in the microwave, a splash of cold milk. I eat, finally, in the living room where Sam and Ollie snuzzle and steal glances—the screen in Sam’s case, the sleeve of a green t-shirt in Ollie’s. I slurp some coffee and notice Ollie is relaxed. “Sam? Is he sleeping?” I nod at the baby.


“You know,’ I say, catching that I’m whispering despite the TV’s blare, ‘if he falls asleep in your arms, it means he knows he’s protected and safe. He really likes you.”

Sam’s mouth pinches together, startled. His eyes widen with delight. He snorts and nods casually. I can’t know for sure what he is thinking as he adjusts the baby a bit, but I’m pretty sure it’s something about how he really likes his brother, too.

(It’s Tuesday and I’m participating in Just Write, hosted by Heather at The Extraordinary Ordinary. If you like to write on the fly, pop over and participate!)

2 comments to He likes you

  • Mom

    Ollie is so fortunate to have such a great, loving family. I’m sure he will get a great dinosaur education from Sam when as he gets older. I love to hear his educated thoughts.

  • Wonderful post! Brought tears to my eyes. Brothers are very special, and being a mother of boys is a big job. I think it’s great that you explained to Sam exactly what he was doing for his brother, and it was so much more than just holding him. Kudos.

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