For a boy who has such a hard time telling people that he loves them, Seth is the most loving and big-hearted of boys.
It's been 18 months since he was first able to tell me that he loved me (see here, here, and here for the most wonderful details of this experience). There's been no doubting his love or affection for me since then. With anyone else, however, it is virtually impossible for him to use the words...and we never pressure him in this regard.
But when the chips are down, and even mostly when they're not, it's Seth that you want close to you, and certainly his brother benefits from this. Although my boys fight like animals at times, there's still no one who can tell faster than Seth if something's up with Matthew. He knows when Matthew needs me; he knows when to back off because Matt's having a hard moment; he can predict with unnerving accuracy how Matthew will react to things; etc etc.
And when, this morning, we had to take Matthew to a sports injury clinic because of a foot I feared broken, it was Seth who wanted to stay with Matthew when I dropped him off at the clinic door before parking the car; Seth who then put a protective hand under Matthew's arm as he hopped on one foot across an icy sidewalk into the clinic; Seth who insisted on carrying Matthew's jackets and book (even before crutches filled his hands); Seth who combed Matthew's long hair and put it into (four, adorable) ponytails to stop hair from falling into his eyes; Seth who offered to fetch Matthew water just as Matthew was about to ask for some; Seth who accompanied Matthew to the bathroom several times today to help manage crutches as Matthew got used to them; Seth who sat with Matthew while Matthew did his piano practice just in case his foot was hurting and he needed something; Seth who brought Matthew a pillow for his foot and a blanket for sharing as they settled in just now to watch some tv.
What is that if not love??
It's Seth who has, more than anyone in my life, helped me understand deeply that verbalizing our heart-felt emotions is really not terribly significant...they're just words, after all. Those three magic words used to matter to me a whole lot more in days past than they do now.
What Seth teaches me almost every day is that love in action, rather than love expressed, is the far more powerful truth. Love in the nitty gritty of life, in the trenches, in the willingness to do and be what is needed by the beloved...that's the kind of love I admire and want to emulate.
Seth may be short on words, but he is long on what it means to really love. It's a gift. His gift.
What a boy. How blessed are we that we get to watch this boy blossom.