The house, unusually quiet as I sit reading.
Then pounding feet on stairs, basement door banging open, and my eldest son of 19 runs into the kitchen, around the island and turns, poised, looking back the way he came, face bright and expectant.
I abandon my book and watch Sidney, wondering . . .
His younger sister, 14, slowly walks into the kitchen, popping her knuckles. Rachel moves around the island. Sidney moves in the opposite direction. She stretches her neck and shakes out her arms. He laughs, makes a run for the dining room table, putting more distance between them. She slowly paces him, menaces him with a glaring eye, a smile trembles her lips.
This has been a familiar scene since Sidney and I returned from Memphis 15 months ago. Rachel loves locking her arms around her older brother, his arms imprisoned at his side, while he tries to wrestle free. He twists and turns, dragging her from kitchen to dining room to living room. She hangs on for dear life. They fall to the couch, roll on the floor, twist their way back to their feet, lurch off walls and furniture.
Twenty minutes, thirty minutes — Rachel has a good, strong grip. I hope they don’t break anything, including themselves, but it is a vague thought. I am glad they play together. In those early days of our return home, Sidney needed exercise, needed to rebuild wasted muscle. During his tiredest days, escaping her grip was a fun distraction, a necessary workout.
I wonder if Sidney knows that Rachel needed those wrestling matches too. Still needs them.
His reticent and undemonstrative sister needs to wrap her arms tightly around a brother she loves and never let him go.