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Brotherly Love

mashed potatoesMy younger son, Aiden, came down with a fever in the middle of the night. By ten in the morning, he was on the upswing, and I was completely exhausted.

By mid-afternoon, however, his fever returned with a vengeance and he didn’t want me to leave his side. I was trying to figure out how to make dinner before the two older kids and my husband went for our mid-week Bible study.

My older son, Allen, came into the darkened room. “Does Aiden need anything?” he asked.

Aiden was resting halfway on my lap and it was all I could do to sit still, thinking of everything that needed to get done.

“No thanks, Allen,” I answered, attempting to move out from under my feverish son.

“Don’t go anywhere, mommy.” His hot hand held on to mine.

So much for that.

I called Allen back into the room. “Actually, there is something you can do.” Even in the darkness, I saw his face light up.

“Can you peel and wash a few potatoes for dinner?” I told him where to find them and the potato peeler.

“Sure, mom.”

By the time Aiden had fallen asleep enough for me to slip out of the room, Allen had peeled and washed the potatoes.

“Can I do anything else?” He was almost jumping up and down.

“Do you want to cut them too?”

“Sure!” We worked side by side until Aiden woke up again, calling for me.

While I was back in the room, Allen washed and cut a plate full of celery sticks.

After dinner was finished, Allen hovered around the room, keeping an eye on Aiden. He ran to get him water, got a damp cloth to cool his forehead, and brought one stuffed animal after another.

“It’s such a quiet evening, mommy,” Allen told me, “without Aiden talking.”

I thought about a typical evening, with Allen starting some activity and his little brother commandeering it – wanting to play with his cars or his Legos or draw on his art board. Usually, anything that Allen wants to do, Aiden is right in there, often taking charge in his not-always-so-gallant manner.

And this evening, when Allen could be playing in peace to his little heart’s content, he’s hovering around his little brother like a hummingbird.

I remember when I was young, my mom often quoting a verse to us six not-always-so-loving siblings: “Let brotherly love continue.”

Now that I’m a mom, all I can say is, “Amen, pass the potatoes.”