Preface: Beanstalk is one of the happiest people in the world. He has his moments when his Xi is disturbed, but honestly those are few and far between and a nice romp in the leaves or some fun waving a stick around like Obi-wan Kenobi really does it for him. Instantly back to his happy self. And when I say he loves people, he genuinely loves people. To death.
If you are one of "his people" he will hug you with all his strength which also includes all his protective arm braces and those suckers are a force to be reckoned with. He's gotten gradually stronger as he's grown, so the relative increase in his crushing strength is noticeable but I've learned to adapt. I love those hugs. As do the rest of the adults in the inner circle. Squib, however, being a more recent addition and half his size may actually die as a result of all these attentive hugs. Beanstalk isn't trying to hurt him at all. But if one thing is true, it's this...
Beanstalk LUVVVVSSSSS Squib.
It's rather humorous, really. You can tell when the hug attack is coming by the way Beanstalk calls Squib's name. I have to break their anonymity to explain this because it is hilarious.
"Oh Myyyyy-tooooeee! Hu? Hu?" He starts surveying the room and searching out every nook and cranny calling out "Miiii-toeee!" with glee and anticipation as he goes because he is darn tootin' going to get a hug out of Mytoe if it kills him. Or Mytoe.
The first few times this took place, Squib would gasp, "Can't...breathe" and I would pry Beanstalk off of Squib like he was an octopus eating his prey. But then Beanstalk wanted more hugs. It was cute and endearing, but speaking of deer, Squib looked like one in the headlights. I am not even kidding.
I try to limit the hugging to a more reasonable amount and try to be present for all the Squib hugging to put my arms in between Beanstalk and Squib and I'm telling you, he will crush that child if left to his own devices. I try to talk to Beanstalk about being gentle with his baby brother. However, the point is that, in the end, he loves that kid so darn much that he squeezes him more than anybody else. He doesn't even hug me that way.
And, speaking from Squib's angle, Squib feels the same way. He just doesn't want to die. He plans things for them to do. He picks out movies he thinks Beanstalk will like. He doesn't complain about all the opera and symphony DVDs which is saying a lot for a seven-year-old. And he's alloted Beanstalk a two hug limit for the day. I thought that was quite reasonable considering the force he has to deal with.
As for me, ever since Squib was born, I hoped that Beanstalk would have a brother that not only loved him, but cared about how life looked like from Beanstalk's point of view. You know I'm not going to live forever. Neither will Beanstalk's dad. We have no outright prognosis and every limit we've been given, Beanstalk has exceeded. Some day he may need his brother to help take care of him. And here Squib is already doing just that. He knows how to establish his own limits and that's smart. But he loves Beanstalk very much. He puts a calendar of when we visit with Beanstalk on the refrigerator and counts the days. He hops out of the bed saying, "This is a Beanstalk day!" And he's only seven.
So assuming he lives past the hugging phase, they have already exceeded my expectations.