When I wasn’t looking, these two became friends.
They play now, just about every day. Usually it’s some form of crawl chase or race. They share a lot of laughter, each watching and egging on the other. They clap and scream and get rambunctious together. One time it’s Loren instigating the fun, the next – much to my surprise – it’s eleven month old Ruthie.
For a long time I was beginning to fear that Loren was just never going to cool down enough to allow himself to enjoy Ruthie’s company. He was adorable with her when she was still an infant, but as she became mobile and interested in toys his sweet kisses and coo’s turned into “No, Roose, that’s my toy!”
But at some point during these many rainy days of May and June, stuck inside our little apartment and with a father that had run out of entertaining ideas, Loren turned to Ruthie and seemed to say “hey, you actually bring something to the table…”
Growing up I heard my mom say (at least once a week) “whatever else happens, you kids are going to love each other, dammit.”* She still says this, probably just as often as she did when we were young. Like everything else with parenting, it’s a concept I understood well enough in theory before watching two kids of my own.
*Don’t let her casual grace and good manners fool you, this woman cusses like a sailor. Maybe that’s why she married one. PS – Love you, ma.
Whatever my parents did to help make that hope become a reality, it worked. My siblings and I (all five of us) are really close. And as the saying goes (or should) “ain’t no party like a Davis kid party…” Get us all together and it’s nothing short of wonderful chaos. The childhood giggles that are permanently embedded into the walls of my parents’ house seem to infect each of us as we step through the door when returning home. By the time we reach the dinner table (after taking a brief inventory of the refrigerator and junk drawer, if only out of habit), the room is as much filled with laughter as the recycling bin will be with beer bottles the next morning.
This is the vision that flashes through my head whenever I hear my own kids laughing together and loving one another. I’ll be around the corner in the kitchen, doing dishes or preparing dinner, and in the living room I’ll hear my childhood.
They have no idea the weight behind their game of chase or the expectations they’re helping me create.
Whatever else happens, these kids are going to love each other, dammit.by