I sometimes find myself referring to Gideon as Gimli. My tiny warrior of a son has proven himself already to be a man of strength and courage, but at 6 months he is a stocky and elephant footed warrior. And the way he stares intimidatingly at the world with fierce stoic jowls makes me see him as more a dwarf than a man some days. All that is missing is a braided beard and a large axe, both of which he would love to have, I’m sure.

I was considering this yesterday while I watched him exercise his beefy legs in the jumping contraption he enjoys so much in our living room, when Lydia approached and began performing flips and twirls on the cross bars of the device. I made her stop and apologize to her brother for accidentally kicking him in the face mid twirl. She did so reluctantly, and glared down at him. He stared back coldly.

The two of them have an interesting love/hate relationship rooting from their mutual desire for their mother’s attention, and shared misunderstanding of each other’s personalities. It is a deep rivalry of challenging respect that seems to span centuries in its complexity.

As my delicate middle child came to sit next to me on the couch, I stroked my hands through her soft flowing blond hair and looked into her intense blue eyes. Where Gideon is stout, Lydia is waifish. We worry about her slender white form sometimes, with bones like melting ice. But she herself is fearless. She regularly launches herself off the top of the stairs and glides through the air like a bird landing with a graceful roll. She spins and moves with fluid motion and has an inherent rhythm that neither her mother or I can catch up with or understand. Of all our children, she is the most impervious and enigmatic. A riddle in an ancient language. She smiled up at me now and I sighed. “You know?” I told her, “If he’s Gimli, perhaps we should call you Lydalas.” I raised my eyebrows at her, and she raised hers back at me in mock surprise.

“But what would that make Clara?” Her mom said from across the room.

I raised my head to look at our eldest daughter. She was standing on the end of the couch now. Her long dark hair chaotically blown back from her eyes by an invisible wind. Her proud back was straight as she extended her arm to point accusingly at Lydia, who had already returned to her spinning gymnastics on Gideon’s bouncer. With all of the burden of righteous rule resting uncomfortably on her shoulders she demanded that Lydia climb down and go back to the couch. She sighed at her sister’s disobedience and with a quick glance of approval from me, she dove off the couch and into battle.

I looked back at Andrea. “Oh, she’s easy.” I said plainly. “That would make her Claragorn.”

We watched the three of them repeatedly tangle and untangle themselves on the floor and we nodded proudly. Some day these three heroes will lay aside their fantastic differences and join together in a glorious fellowship. And I have no doubt that in such a day, the foundations of evil and tyranny will crumble in the heat of their combined courage and the world will forever be changed.