When words are scarce they are seldom spent in vain.
~ William Shakespeare
Brooke was frustrated. As so often happens when she’s at the end of her rope, words orbited somewhere just outside her reach. She grunted at her sister, then stomped as if to punctuate her wordless sentence.
I was doing my best to corral the girls into the bank so that I could quickly hit the ATM. I would have waited until Luau was home, but the four dollars in my pocket weren’t going to last that long.
Katie watched her sister thoughtfully as she held the door for her.
“Brooke,” she said gently as her sister huffed past her, “you’re really lucky that you have words, you know. There are a lot of people who don’t. So I know that you’re having a hard time right now, but you do have words. Do you think you could find them?”
Brooke jumped again, hitting the ground with a thud, then let out a pained whimper.
Katie let the door close and stepped in behind her sister as if nothing were out of the ordinary. Brooke began her perimeter walk of the tiny lobby.
I fumbled for my card, trying to get us out of there before the whole scene had a chance to get really ugly. I fed it to the machine, then punched in my code and waited. Then I punched in Get Cash From Checking and waited. Then I punched in an amount and waited, pleading with the ATM gods to speed this process just this once.
As I finally gathered the cash, Brooke marched up to her sister. She got just a little too close to her and stood right under her nose. She said, “Katie, whatdyasay?”
It was more of a demand than a question.
Katie didn’t flinch.
“I said that you’re really lucky to have words, Brooke. And I asked if you could use them.”
Brooke didn’t move.
Katie didn’t move.
I held my breath and watched.
Brooke wrapped her arms around her sister’s waist and said, “I love you, Katie.”
Katie hugged her back. “I love you too, Brooke,” then added, “Really good job using your words.”