Photo found here.
He'll snuggle up to Mom, but not to me.
At nine he should be a big kid, but to our family he is still the baby, and is expected to fill our daily demands for hugs and kisses and funny little one-liners.
Tonight my brother, my mom and I were snuggled up together watching a movie. "Come give us snuggles," Mom implored.
I thought the word "us" implied more than one person receiving the little guy's lovin' - but apparently he had other ideas.
James tucked himself under Mom's arm and wrapped his little arms around her in an embrace. While I watched expectantly, hoping my turn would come soon.
But it didn't.
He stayed there at Mom's side, quite unaware of the little wound he had placed in my heart. What did I do wrong? I wondered. Maybe being a sister just isn't good enough. Maybe he can only have this kind of love for Mom, and I'll just have to wait until I have little ones of my own.
But then he reached his little hand out to me. And I took it.
He squeezed my hand three times. That's code for "I love you."
I sent four squeezes back. "I love you too."
Two squeezes. "How much?"
And then one giant squeeze from me as a vain attempt to convey an amount that is constantly growing.
With a contented sigh, he closed his eyes and drifted back to sleep.
It may not be exactly what I wanted, but I'll take it.
He will be my brother for eternity, and that's plenty of time for our love to grow.