Twenty eight years ago, it's hard to recall what it felt like becoming a big sister - the memories foggy besides all the laughter, tiffs, bribes, shennanigans, joy and what seemed to be a minimal change in love and affection from our parents. And then there was the "Glow Worm" that was given in compensation for my little brother's arrival from the hospital. Perhaps I shouldn't be so surprised that little dude has chosen THIS creature among all his others to begin brothering in a way that seems to natural to him. Nurturing, patient, kind and welcoming, I'm astounded by what he comes up with daily. And all with no prodding or reminders from us as our goal has been to keep his life as untouched as possible until the day grows nearer. Here are some examples:
Returning from a business trip two weeks ago, he unexpectedly embraces my belly and in a sing-song, unfamiliar voice says: "Hi baby, I missed you!" He completes the movement with a kiss right to my belly button.
On a cool, rainy Saturday morning he tucked the modern glow worm doll into my arms and gave step by step instruction on how to shoot a basketball. "Now baby, you just have to bend your knees. Not too much or too little, but about 90-degrees. Focus your eyes on the net. Then shoot!" This next one is sure to be a pro with this little athlete around to coach.
A quiet, Sunday morning before the sunrise, he insists on waking me and says the baby is hungry. He finds a toy that looks remarkably like a bottle, pretends to feed the glow worm, then replicate the sound of a burp. "You can go back to sleep now Mom - the baby has eaten. Oh, but I haven't. Can I please have waffles?" So kind to think of his brother or sister first!
When someone, including Daddy, gets a little too close: "That's MY baby!" with authority and protection in his tone.
In choosing just the right treat from the Halloween bowl for the day, he offers one to baby, then quickly withdrawing it, stating: "Oh oh baby, that one has peanuts in it. That will make you sick. Let me get you some taffy instead." So thoughtful. And cautious.
Other frequently heard questions: "Can the baby come out today and play? Will the baby like that I share X toy with her?"
Of course he has his moments of "I'm going to kick the baby! I'm going to smash the baby! I'm going to sit on the baby!" Sibling rivalry, right?!
Though many of my moments are filled with fear in how the love dynamic will change around the home, how my heart will ever expand to love another little being so deeply (combust?!) or just how we'll manage the logistics and finances of it all, I know deep down it will be the most magical, amazing journey our family of four will ever take together.
I think the Glow Worm thinks so too.
As long as it's not in the sitting/kicking/smashing portion of the brotherly events...