Last Thanksgiving, when the triplets were in third grade, they had to write a letter that they read before their class and creation, regarding something (or someone) for which they were thankful. We were very grateful that our family was in town, en masse, because the readings were all happening at the exact same time, and seeing as we are not able to be in three places at once, we were able to divide and conquer each of the three classrooms where the readings were occurring.
Charlie and I were present in Carolyn's classroom to hear her sweetly read how thankful she is for her family; my sister Eileen and her husband Clark were present in Elizabeth's classroom to hear her sweetly read how thankful she is for her siblings and bunny; and my mother and nieces were present in William's classroom to hear how thankful he is for his little brother, Henry. Which really surprised me, when they told me about it later because they don't always act very "thankful" for each other.
My mother told me that a child in William's class - a boy who was brand new to the school - had been summoned to stand up several times, but was too shy to take the stage. Just before the session was finished, he quietly stood up and whispered to the teacher that he had a few words he would like to share. He then walked to the front of the room and bravely read to the large audience of his peers and their families, the fears he had about being brand new to the school and how frightening it was to be in a separate class from his twin sister, for the first time.
But, he continued, this year he was so thankful for the boy who talked to him and sat with him and introduced him to all the other kids so that he wouldn't be alone at recess or during lunch. He was thankful for his new best friend, William.
As it turns out, Carolyn is best friend's with his twin sister and the children are together in separate classes again this year. Carolyn with Anna and William with James. We learned today that the two girls both registered to play cello this year; while the two boys are both registered to play viola. None of this had been previously discussed ... it just sort of happened, similar to their friendships.
Today, I was talking with their mother and she told me that there are are two new boys in William and James' class. When she was volunteering in the classroom early last week, she said that the two new students were really keeping to themselves ... but when she went back on Friday, William was pulling those boys out of their shells by introducing them to people and ensuring they had people to sit with during lunch. She smiled and softly shaking her head said to me, "You've got such an incredibly special kid there, he has an unbelievably kind heart for a nine-year-old."
Dear God, please help me to remember this when he bickers with his siblings, or does any of those things that make me want to put my head in my hands and pull my hair out by the roots. He really is an incredibly special kid and he is growing more awesome, every day. Please also help him to feel better ... he's been quite ill for the past six weeks and I'm hopeful that what multiple doctors think is acid reflux, will soon be abated by Zantac and a mattress that is inclined at a 30-degree angle. There's nothing better than hearing how kind your child is to others ... and nothing worse than seeing them sick.
(This is what he wants his next tank to look like.)