One morning a couple of weeks ago, Knox and I were home alone when we stopped to look at a picture stuck on the fridge. The picture had been there for months, but it was the first time he’d noticed it. It was from a shoot a few years ago – just the girls with Ga and Papa.
He was upset that he wasn’t in the picture and wanted to know why.
I mentioned that he was probably with the rest of us doing something else outside the scope of the camera. So we went to take a look at the other pictures from that day (that are up on the wall in the lounge). We chatted about these pictures for a bit when he said,
“Mom, I wish dat I was till a baby!”
“But why would you still want to be a baby? You can do so much now that you are big!”
“Because when I was smaller, den Kyla and Riya loved me.”
Yoh guys. I was not ready. Even if I thought I could have made myself ready I would not have been ready for that. I mean, I know that the girls tend to play together a lot more than they play with him, but I didn’t realise that it was affecting him so much!
My brain didn’t know how to process it. I felt gutted that he could even feel this way about his own sisters. It hurt my heart so much that I couldn’t get it out my head the entire day.
So obviously when we were all together later in the afternoon, I sat the girls down and shared what he’d said. I was mortified that he could feel this way and we needed to find a way to stop it. The girls, who are usually quite resilient to his feelings, actually felt embarrassed that this is how he felt and that they had made him feel like this. We chatted more about how they were going to actively work on changing this by including him and just generally showing him more love and attention.
That was 2 weeks ago or more. I can’t really tell anymore – time is just flying. It could even have been longer.
Honestly, I didn’t notice much of a change. They still fought and bickered as per usual.
Then yesterday morning Knox was up early and Riya was too. But she usually is. She prides herself on being the first one awake. The big deal here is that Knox was up early. That never happens. Anyway, they were playing ball together, she helped him get dressed and even packed his bag for him.
But it didn’t stop there. They were talking about how he could sleep next to her on her bed that night. Now this is huge because the girls share a room and frequently share a bed just for fun. But Knox is never included. Ever. He’s not even allowed to sleep in the bed that they are obvs not using as they are sharing. (Which we enforce that he can, but because he’s alone it lasts like 5 minutes before he’s back in his bed getting one of us to lie with him until he falls asleep. Yes we still do this… No judgies)
I was totally blown away by what was happening. And then they were having so much fun that Knox looked up at her and gave her the biggest hug. He’s a hugger that kid. But he doesn’t hug them because they freak. So when she hugged him back and didn’t act weird about it, my heart melted to a puddle on the floor.
A bit later I pulled her aside to just tell her that I was really proud of her for how loving she was being with Knox and she said,
“I’m trying really hard!”
Flip. The feels.
Look, it’s probably not going to last, but I love that she is trying and that it sunk in – even just for a little bit.