Yesterday the kids had their first day of a 1-week Art Camp at Summerfield Waldorf school. Their Papa dropped them off, and somewhat typically, our beloved boy Ezra (5), in all his deep-feeling sensitivity, had a tearfully difficult time with the transition to a new, unfamiliar environment, unfamiliar teacher, rhythm, group of kids, etc. After about 30 minutes of helping him make the challenging transition, Chris had to leave for work, somewhat heart-wrenchingly, since Ezra was still clearly upset and uncomfortable. Thankfully, not longer after he left, Chris got a call from the teacher, assuring him Ezra was now peacefully integrated and enjoying himself.
When I went to fetch them at 2 pm, both kids were beaming, delighted and proud to share with me their many artistic creations. As we started to drive home, I asked Ezra: “So, after Papa left, when you were so sad, my love, what helped you to make the shift?” (Thinking how great it would be for him to track that process for himself, to integrate the learning and evolve his own capacity for emotional resilience.) He answered from his car seat, point-blank: “Well, Arayla told me she would give me $3 if I could find my center, so I stopped crying…”
Astounded, my jaw dropped, I turned to Arayla(9), sitting in the passenger seat beside me, and said: “You actually BRIBED your brother with MONEY to find his center?!” She shrugged, nodding, unapologetic: “Yep. And it totally worked, too.” I cracked up. I said: “Thank you for helping him. And: why did you care to?” She responded with kind sincerity: “I wanted him to get to stay at camp with me.” And then she added, loud enough for Ezra to hear: “Because he’s awesome.” I looked into the rear-view mirror to find Ezra’s face shining in joy to feel his big sister’s caring appreciation for him. Then Arayla turned to him and said, smiling, with a tone of big-sister scolding fondness: “But that was only for today, okay Ezra? Deal? I’m not PAYING you to find your center at camp all week long, alright?” Ezra nodded, happily, swinging his legs: “Okay, Arayla. Deal.”
And we drove on, with me reveling in the brilliance of this profound, hilarious, and tender sibling bond: an understanding, resonance and rapport between them I can’t even begin to fully grasp nor emulate, but can surely continually bow and laugh in the blessing of bearing witness.