I wish I had a picture or better yet a video to show you what I am writing about today. Since I have neither, I am left trying to capture a sweet moment with words alone. I promise to keep it under 1000 :) and hope I can still capture it in my own mind at least as vividly as a photograph could.
Ann Marie was having a hard morning. You have to understand that she is ... dramatic. She can make herself cry at the drop of a hat and uses that ability to get what she wants. I actually know she is really upset when she is trying not to cry but failing. So in any case, she was pouting and crying on our way to church. And then she was pouting and crying as church started. I knew her issue wasn't anything too major, so I wasn't worried about her. I just was giving her extra love and trying to keep her sisters from bothering her.
This year our church time starts at Noble's nap time. He is one tired boy at church. So he is often all over the place and hard to keep in the pew. Such was the case today. At least until he saw Annie with her tears. He struggled free of everyone else's grasp and stood up on the pew next to her facing the row behind us. Then he swung one leg over her lap and sat down. He wrapped his little arms tight around her neck and laid his head down on her shoulder.
She wrapped her arms around him and rocked him as she cried. He laid on her like that for quite some time - far longer than I expected or was normal. I don't think anyone could have comforted her better at that moment. He did this two or three times during the beginning of our church meeting until Dad took him out to the foyer to get him to sleep. It just touched my heart to see it.
There is a bit of magic in the touch of this toddler. I am not sure how to describe it. Losing Camille has frozen her at that age in all our hearts and minds. Having Noble here with us as this toddler doesn't replace her in anyway but he is like a surrogate carrier of the loves we would have been able to get and give to her in some way. I am not sure that even makes sense but it just melted my heart to see him loving on Annie today and in church and knowing that that toddler love that she has missed out on has in some small measure been restored by the sweet and tender heart of her her brother.