As a highly experienced mother of two – three weeks, two days and counting! – I’m starting to realize that almost nothing in the world gives me greater joy than watching my two babies love on each other. Currently that love flows most visibly in one direction: Carter to Aila. But, I’m sure somewhere in her sleeping, pooping, nursing brain, Aila Baby is registering all of Carter’s affections and learning to love because of them.
Carter loves, cherishes, adores his baby sister. He climbs into her bassinet and snuggles her. He pets her head. He crouches on top of her and lays his big head on top of her tiny swaddled body. He tries to teach her to high five and pound it. He always wants to hold her. He has taken to singing her songs when she cries – and it works! When he sings, she stops crying. He even tries to feed her his snacks. My heart could burst watching the sweetness. I hope that I can nurture this love and tenderness. I hope my children will stay close and find comfort in each other as they journey through life.
Siblings are special.
I would know because I happen to have the most amazing brother. He is only 14 months younger than me, and I don’t remember life without him. When we were young, we did everything together: sold lollipops in our driveway, careened down hills into our backyard on old school Big Wheels, played Construx and Legos, ate cereal while taking baths, mastered the Nintendo and Game Boy. We were goofy and gross and silly.
When our family situation became difficult, we shared an understanding that no one else could decipher. Nor could we explain. There are just somethings you must experience to understand, and my brother understands. We moved states and schools and houses, turning toward each other for safety, friendship and love. Then as we got older, turning away from each other; sometimes sharing understanding you can’t explain only reminds of you things you don’t want to think about.
This period of turning away is my biggest regret in life. It is one thing I really wish I could do over. I wish instead of turning to school and friends in high school, I had stayed more anchored to and aware of my brother. I wish I had been a better sister to him then. We needed each other.
Thankfully, my relationship with my brother continues to grow deeper. He is one of the most inspiring people I know. He never gives up. He pursues his dreams. He has the softest heart. He is generous to a fault. He is a doting uncle. He is faithful and loves with his entire soul and being. I know that he would do anything for me. I would do anything for him too. He’s my little brother, my didi, but he’s protective, and I love him for it.
My brother is someone you get to know over and over again. Every time we talk, I discover something new, a new layer is revealed, a new gem uncovered. I never stop learning from him or about him, and I’m always amazed.
Sometimes, I miss the goofier days of our youth, when it seemed like all we did was laugh. Yet, I would not give up the depth, strength, and love that has come from our shared experiences, trials and triumphs.
I love and admire my little brother. I feel grateful to have him in my life. I wish he lived closer to me so I could see him more often. He probably doesn’t know it, but he is a miracle and a blessing to me. Love you, Dave.