I think this photo is a good way to sum up my children: Sam, the bold adventurer, and Grace, the intrepid foot soldier who will follow wherever her Captain goes (whether it is within her ability or not).
When we just had Sam, I knew I wanted more children. I thought four would be a good number altogether, and I hoped they would all be boys. As it turns out, two is plenty for me and I am SO glad one of them is Grace (who is most decidedly not a boy). Funny how that worked out.
She has implicitly believed for all of her life that he hung the moon.
When Grace was a baby, she played with Sam, not parallel to him. People didn’t believe me when I’d tell them, but I swear to you it’s true. It is only as she’s gotten older and finally understands (kind of) that Sam sometimes would prefer to play by himself that she has taught herself to play alone.
It has never once occurred to her that she cannot necessarily do everything that he does. I’ve caught her trying to climb off playground equipment ten feet off the ground, and seen her scale cliff faces she could not get back down. It is nerve-wracking, but I love that they are both so fearless. (Of course, it is a little easier on my nerves for him to be fearless, since he has the sense and balance of a mountain goat. She is…less steady on her feet, but improving.)
He thinks she is just wonderful. A mystery, and oh-so-weird, but wonderful. He has always been protective and defensive of her. He always insists that I give her a cookie, or a turn picking the cartoon, if he is getting one. (Of course, he also insists that he get whatever she has.)
But I think if I had to pick my very favorite thing about having two children, it would be spontaneous hand-holding. It just does not get any better than that.