Further to my post a couple of days ago, I've a few times now heard Matthew say to Seth something like "Seth, you're an awesome brother and I love you so much," and Seth responding with his own heart felt words: "Love you, too, Math." Early this morning it happened while I was reading to the kids and the boys lay on their bellies, drawing, cuddled together under the same blanket. This afternoon it happened again when they were getting their skates on to go outside.
And then just this evening, an hour ago, I happened to be crossing near where the boys were walking and heard Seth initiate the opening of his heart: "Love you, Math," he said. No drama involved, no rewards necessary. The words were easy. Just heartfelt commitment and adoration and a willingness to risk it all with this brother that loves him so much. Matthew's eyes positively glowed as he was put, finally, into responder position: "Love you, too, Seth...you're awesome."
Matthew knows, from all of our past experience with Seth, not to make a bigger deal of this...he knows how not to make Seth skittish. So he was casual and soft-spoken in his return, but oh, I could tell how much that meant. As Matthew walked by me, he paused just briefly to grab my hand and squeeze. We shared a quick look, a half smile. We both know how hard won those words are, and how precious they are because of it.
From mere days ago having a hard time forming the words for Matthew on his lips, to this, feels like a miracle. I really and truly never thought I'd hear those words initiated by Seth towards anyone other than me and Geoff. He's been so defended. But those walls are a'comin' down, I'm telling you. They're comin' down.