Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Poems and Rainbows

It's difficult at this point to remember the years upon years of bedtime prayers issued by my oldest son in humble petition of a baby brother and sister. The questions he would ask about why his friends had them and he didn't. The conversations about why he wanted one and how much he looked forward to what it would be like to be a big brother. The practice of those skills on the children of dear friends of ours. The yearning, really, to love someone in that special way only siblings can. Before he even became a brother, he knew that role meant something.

One year into that reality, this kid has gone through a big transition. An only child for seven years with only memories of one home, we uprooted him from that home, school, church and friends, moved him across the country and gave him a baby brother all in the space of 7 months. And those long-awaited dreams of playing with his brother and teaching him soccer and legos, well, those dreams were still deferred to the reality of a little person who really just laid around and cried. A lot.

We, of course, have the obligatory joys and memorable pictures. Older brother holding younger brother for the first time, feeding him, letting him sleep in his lap, reading him books, pushing him on the swing or stroller, holding his hand while he learned to walk.

But the real fun? It's just beginning.

These two are finally becoming friends. The younger one reserves the majority of his hugs for his brother during the day. He likes to ride on his back like a horse. He likes to imitate every single thing his older brother does. Already. If his brother is at the table, the meal goes better. In the car? Smoother ride. And my 8-year-old, who I worried would be bored until his brother was much older, returns the adoration. Asks for hugs. Loves to be the first one in the room when he's getting up from his nap, loves to chase him around the house and help him down the slide and teach him his sign language.

We see how they feel about each other in these sweet daily interactions.

But just yesterday, we saw even more clearly what is going on in my eight-year-old's heart when his teacher sent a poem home from school. Apparently the kids had been asked to write a poem about something they love during creative writing time. The teacher was so overcome with the sweetness of what he wrote that she made a copy and sent it home.


There it is. And in case you are having trouble making out that final line? "There is some magic flowing through us". I gotta admit, I don't totally know what that line means, but it's pretty dang sweet.

We worried so much about what it would be like for him to want something so badly and not be sure if the reality would live up to the hype. We worried about his transition from only child. We worried about those months when his brother kept us up all night and we had less energy and patience for him. And now that we are out of that first year tunnel that involves mostly survival, we are so grateful to see what God has done in his heart towards this little guy, towards this brother for whom he longed and waited and prayed.

This mama's heart is melting today. I know their relationship won't always be poems and rainbows. I know the first time the little one wrecks a lego creation we will have a serious issue on hand. Or when he won't leave my older son and his friends alone on a playdate. But right now? Right now I am taking a moment to be thankful for the ways that our family has changed, for the ways my older son has grown in his capacity to love and for the reality that my younger son is growing up with a brother who loves "everything about him."

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