Wednesday, December 06, 2006

My Big Boy

The children and I had some excitement this morning. We volunteered at preschool drop-in gym at the YMCA, as we usually do on Wednesday mornings. Whenever I volunteer my boys play in the gym with me and Baby Girl spends a couple of hours in the babysitting room. This was the arrangement we had today.

At the end of our shift we put the play equipment away and cleaned the gym. I took my boys into the foyer and started putting on their coats and boots. Suddenly, we were startled by a sharp, clanging alarm bell. Red lights began to flash. My boys looked at me with round, frightened eyes.

The building fell into a flurry of activity. Every person needed to leave as quickly as possible. I rushed to pull on the boys' boots and coats, and attempted to herd my frightened children out the door.

"Mommy, Mommy!" my three-year-old cried, "We can't leave!!! We forgot to get our baby girl!"

I was worried about my little girl. She was not with me, and my first instinct was to run to the babysitting room and gather her into my arms. However, I also knew that the YMCA staff are well-trained and would take good care of my precious girl.

"The babysitting ladies are taking the babies to a safe place," I told my big boy, "Don't worry. Our Baby Girl is safe."

"NO! Mommy! We have to save her!" My young man burst into sobs. Tears streamed down his cheeks.

My heart melted. My boy loves his baby sister very much. Though he was frightened by the loud alarm bells and pandemonium, his greatest concern was for his sister. He would have charged straight through the building and into the babysitting room to rescue her if he could have.

In the end, it was all a false alarm. We found our Baby Girl in the caring arms of a staff member as we re-entered the building. Baby was smiling, cooing, and enjoying a great adventure. My boys calmed down, and my son smothered his sister in a million kisses.

I was proud of my little boy this morning. He showed that he is a caring, protective big brother. Clearly, he loves his baby sister a great deal. He may be only three years old, but my son is already learning what it means to be a man.

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