I Get It Honest


I knew I was in trouble from the moment I saw her face.

Just in case you ever wondered, kids hear everything. They seem to hear better when you are trying to speak in code.

So Laurel and I were having one of those hard talks one evening about the boy. Most of the time, both of us are convinced that he’s making sufficient progress that he’s going to be fine. But sometimes our worries overwhelm us.

A few days ago, we were having one of those days. So we were talking about it, and what we might be facing 15 years from now.

Thinking that Sponge Bob was holding the girl’s attention (typically we have to call her 9 times to override the joy that is the Squarepants), but, of course, speaking in code had the effect of riveting the girl’s attention.

After we talked, the girl came to see me. And I knew I was in trouble.

There she stood all seven years and eight months of her. Arms crossed. Eyebrows touching. Hip cocked (in so far as a seven year old has a hip, anyway). Foot tapping.

“What’s wrong, sweetie?”

It really is a good thing that I hadn’t looked directly into the stare and that my hearing is bad from too many years of listening to The Eagles on my Walkman. Otherwise I would have been stumbling around lost in the silent darkness for years to come.

Charlie, the demon dog, went running for cover.

The girl was furious.

Forget a woman scorned, it’s the big sister standing up for her little brother than you need to look out for.

She’s seven, so the anger quickly bled into tears.

After consoling her for the next hour, I finally pieced together the source of her fury. “You and mommy are going to make him live in an orphanage.”

She was convinced that we were segregating her little brother to an orphanage, and SHE. WAS. NOT. HAVING. IT.

She doesn’t put up with strangers hurting her brother, and she certainly doesn’t put up with her parents doing it.

After the tears dried and the explanations offered (we were talking about a group home setting for when he’s older), I took her in my arms and held her, held her, held her.

I have never been so proud of my little girl.

I get my tenacity honestly.

Sister and brother

"Children see magic because they look for it." --Christopher Moore, Lamb: The Gospel according to Biff, Jesus' childhood pal.


  1. The Boy is never going to want for anything, ever. Nobody is ever going to hassle him, never. The Girl will see to that. What a wonderful story.

    1. She’s a great big sister.

      Reminds me of what Dumbledore said of Neville Longbottom: “There are all kinds of courage. It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.” (I’d say it takes even more, but I wouldn’t want to correct Professor Dumbledore.) 🙂

  2. Awesome! I’m afraid mine would WANT to send each other to the orphanage!

    Neville chopping off the noggin of Nagini was one of our favorite moments in the final Potter installment!

  3. The furrowed brow, arms crossed, hip cock … I saw Teresa Winn … some things are just in the blood … 🙂

  4. You won’t ever have too much to worry about there. Isn’t it amazing how the compassion and courage just comes out of their siblings? Thanks for the beautiful story. I am sure your girl is much like my other boy, fierce to defend, but quick to act just like a typical sibling many, many times.

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