I still see you. I see how big you’re getting, so smart, so kind. I am slowly bringing out your old clothes for your brothers to wear, and am shocked each time, convinced that only yesterday, you were so small as well.
Life is not always what we imagined. When we excitedly told you that two little babies were going to join our family, your excitement was timid. But it was authentic. And I could not wait to see you become a big brother. When we found out they might be very ill, I pulled back a bit. I instead talked about how they would need a big brother to help them. And in our bed time stories, I often had you pulling them on adventures with you in a shiny red wagon.
They are here. And they are ill. And they demand more of me than I sometimes have to give. That doesn’t always leave a lot left over for you. You deserve so much, but you happily accept what is offered.
I often worry about how all of this will impact you. There is plenty I could fret over, but I try to focus on the good. And YOU, my dear K, will learn far more about compassion and acceptance than many of us do in a life time.
At the end of the day, you’re actually teaching ME about those things. You do not see our babies for what they are not. You only see them for what they are…Little Brothers who need love. And kisses. And help holding toys.
You now celebrate with us and exclaim “Landon’s eyes are open!” “Nolan’s smiling!” or most importantly, “He’s happy!” and I realize YOU care about the right things. Even if I sometimes get off track.
Two specific moments recently really hit home for me. One night I was trying to help your brother learn the feel of a spoon. So while I was cooking dinner, I would turn around, and try a spoonful of milk. Landon drooled more than he drank, but it was a worthwhile exercise that will likely be repeated often, long before it is mastered. I ran upstairs to get a load of laundry, and took a few minutes to return. When I did, you were there, by his side, just sitting with him.
On another occasion, we all returned home around the same time, but in two vehicles. I was still bringing babies in, but you didn’t know that. You ran in the house, went to their “spots”, and when they weren’t there, you started bawling and crying that the babies were gone. You don’t even understand how real of a concern that is, yet your choice of words and truly devastated reaction hit me like a punch to the heart. I’ve cried about that moment several times since. I was reminded of how much YOU stand to lose. And how much you are invested in our boys. But it also reminded me how seriously you are taking your role. And how proud I am of who you are.
There are a lot of things that make these boys seem unlucky at a glance. But thanks to you, there are also things that make them seem like the luckiest little boys alive. They have you. And I have all of you. And that makes me a pretty lucky mama too.