Monday, May 4, 2009

The Shape of His Heart




Henry isn't always kind to children who are smaller than he is. Sometimes he's really surly. I think it's on the boy gene to establish some sort of pecking-order in the ranks of gathered males, and Henry often asserts his superiority over the little guys. We're working on that tricky, "be kind to everyone" doctrine.

This morning we watched our friend, Jeffrey. He's a little guy, (big/little, the distinctions are all relative to Henry). But Jeffrey's managed to nestle his way into a soft place in Henry's heart. I think, er I know it has something to do with the "tomb" (tumor) in his eye. When Henry found out that Jeffrey had an owie in his eye he knew exactly what needed to be done: "I think that doctor's just gonna have to figure out a way to poke a teeeny hole (pinching his thumb and index finger as close together as they would go without actually touching) in Jeffrey's eye and shove a bandaid in there." Simple enough! It's been sweet to observe his concern for Jeffrey as he's been through lots of doctor's visits and rounds of chemotherapy.

Anyway, that's all just to establish the background for the cute little exchange that happened today while Jeffrey was at our house. The boys were playing in Henry's room and I was in and out, checking on them frequently, listening to their play from the living room when I wasn't in the bedroom with them. I noticed it had gotten quiet in there, so I poked my head in to see what was going on and I saw two little bodies snuggled up under the down blanket on top of Henry's bed. Henry had a book opened between the two of them and was "reading" a story to Jeffrey. Really cute. I sat down outside his door and listened as he adlibbed stories we've read many times. I chuckled to myself when he said words like, "colossal!" and phrases like "a capital idea, my friend," and "what the weavil?!" And I really chuckled when I heard him close a book and say, "Okay, no more stories, Jeffrey. I'm going to go out now and it's time for you to have your quiet time." Cute little Jeffrey looked so puzzled as Henry got up to leave. At this point, I intervened. Jeffrey was glad to see me :) I wanted to hand them another volume (or twenty) and ask them to stay there forever; I could have listened for as long. But they were ready for a change of plans. And with a fluff of covers and a shuffle of books, they were up and gone. And so was the quiet. But I've got that cute little memory tucked away for safe-keeping. I just wish I had a sound-byte to go with it; I've got to be quicker with the video camera.
I'm always grateful when I get a little peek at the tender spots in his heart.

9 comments:

  1. I saw the title and hoped it was a vague backstreet boys song reference. I'll have to say I was much more pleased to find out it wasn't!

    I love that little Henry.

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  2. that is absolutely darling.

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  3. It's amazing how much more quickly kids will adjust to other kids with problems. I think we adults could use some help in that department. What a heart melter for you.

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  4. I just had a total deja vu as I read your post. First, I'm not so sure that little guy/big guy trait is on the boy gene only, because Malia has definitely got it. She knows who she can pick on, and who can hold their own. But she loves Jeffrey. Second, we were watching Jeffrey two weeks ago and Malia spent at least 15 minutes "reading" to Jeffrey. I got most of it on my camcorder, and took a bunch of pictures. How crazy! We'll see how two people with that "trait" do when playing together.

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  5. It is our challenge and quest to encourage these kind traits in our little ones! So happy to hear about this sweet boy's soft heart.

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  6. What a cute story. Henry sounds like such a sweetheart. I wish I could have sound bytes too. My boys just aren't the same when they are being recorded.
    Sarah

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  7. You are such a good writer Emily. That was so sweet to read. Henry is such a cutie! I loved his idea of how to fix Jeffrey's eye.

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