|Brothers Arm in Arm — Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis|
I watched your mama come to the restaurant with you and your little brother. He, not more than 3. You, only a couple of years older. Both of you in matching navy blue with closely cropped hair and big, soulful brown eyes.
I watched as she jerked your brother up two stairs when he wouldn't walk. He began to cry. She walked ahead of him and still he cried. Frustrated, she raised her voice,
"I won't carry you! You want a time out?"
More cries. Not any louder, just more pitiful.
"You don't need to be carried! You're too old for that. You gonna get a time out!"
She pulled him by the arm, still crying, and plopped him down in the corner on the steps just outside the restaurant and went back inside. All alone, clutching a little stuffed toy, tears staining his smooth, brown cheeks...
He looked so small.
So many thoughts raced through my head as I tried to catch his eyes to send him the love he needed. But just then, you came out and sat by his side. You, big brother, you couldn't have been more than 6 yourself. You sat next to him, reached your hand out to touch his shoulder, gently.
He looked up at you as you dried his tears with your sweet hand and spoke softly to him.
His crying stopped. Hand in hand you walked back in to the restaurant together. You were exactly what he needed. 6 years old and somehow you knew just what to do.
I put my face in my hands and cried.
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