Tonight, while at McDonald's for $1.99 happy meal night, Payton did something I thought he would pass up in a heartbeat. Something that moved me to swell with enormous amounts of pride and love.
After the boys ate, they took off to play with some friends we had met there. Payton and Kyler were running up and through all the germ-infested, never-cleaned tunnels, while Moriah and Maxwell were playing on the germ-infested, never-cleaned landing to the play area. Maxwell was happy to go up and down, but I could tell he wanted to go with his brother.
At the end of the night, I asked Payton to follow his brother up the tunnels and "push his tush" to help him through. I thought FOR SURE that Payton would say No. I would have put $5 on it I was so sure.
But just when you think you know your kids, they surprise you. Payton said "sure. Come on, Maxwell." and off they went. I watched them with climb up and through every tunnel. I could hear Payton telling other kids "That's my baby. He's only one." "No, just wait. He's moving." and "I have to stay behind my brother. You go."
I was so proud of him for making the right decisions and for being so loving and protective of his lil' brother. It's not often that I get to see that side of him since they're always fighting over the TV remote (yes...already) and over who has the crayons and paper that the other one wanted while sitting in the "wrong" chair.
But tonight, I got to see that loving relationship shine through. Right up until the slide to bring them back down. Then I got to see how loud Maxwell's screams sound in a tube slide. He wouldn't come down. Payton couldn't make him and was afraid to pull him down the slide with him. Maxwell started to retreat and Payton went down the slide.
In the end, I climbed up the tunnels and got Maxwell down. Those things weren't as dirty as I thought. And it actually was fun up there. Maxwell was happy to see me. But I don't think he'll be doing the tunnels with him brother again. Or anyone for that matter. But at least he had a great loving moment with his big brother.