I have been meaning to share this story for a long time.
I honestly hesitated as I didn't have a photo to illustrate it that I loved....so, instead of waiting for the perfect photo, I am just going to share the most darling story.
Back when I was pregnant with Leland, Jude and I did a lot of 'toy prep' around the upstairs of our home. Joel and I have our bedroom on the first floor and the boys are upstairs. So, in one of my 'nesting' moods, we went through which toys would be best for Jude to keep in his room and which to give to baby Leland.
I thought it was funny to see Jude gladly give the broken and worthless pieces of old toys to his brother....when he wasn't looking, I was taking those broken pieces and throwing them away.
Then it was time to talk about his stuffed animal collection. Jude was a HUGE stuffed animal kid. He still kind of is from time to time. If you don't know him well, on his first birthday he received a plush puppy from our dear friends, The Hansons. Little did we know that this puppy would be the source of such comfort and friendship to our son.
This puppy went everywhere...was lost a dozen or more times...and looks like it too!
So, as we perused the stuffed animal collection, Jude surprised me and said he wanted to keep all the animals 'cept for 1. I asked which one he wanted to give to Leland and he genuinely told me, 'Puppy, Mommy! He is the most special one!" It was all I could do not to hug him so tightly his ribs would break. But...in the back of my mind, I thought...'When Leland is actually here in the flesh, Jude is never going to part with that puppy!"
One day several months later...Leland at around 4 months had woken up from a nap...cooing and singing in his crib. Jude asked if he could go and play with him. I agreed. I walked up to see them both in the crib together...and Jude handing him his most precious puppy. To this day, little puppy lies next to Lee keeping him safe and warm.