A year ago, you used to kiss my tummy every night. You used to talk about your "baby brother or sister," excitedly. I was excited, too, but a little sad and scared because you were our world and what would it be like when you were still our world...but someone else was, too?
When he was less than 24 hours old, you came bounding into the hospital room, ignored the outstretched arms of your mom and dad (remember? those people who were your world just a mere 24 hours ago?), sat down and said, "I want to hold MY baby."
That's not to say that we didn't have our moments (hours, days) of sibling rivalry. Moments where I wondered if maybe I just wasn't right for this job, this daunting task of raising two boys to be good citizens of the world. The times where we told you to be gentle. Where we said to stop loving TOO hard. Where we reminded you that he was little. Where we told you that he didn't mean to jam his finger straight into your eye. And the ever popular, "Space, Luke, give him space!"
But when you love him, you love him fiercely. When you went back to the sitter's, you told everyone that he was your brother, Tommy. You told them not to get too close. You sat protectively by his side for the first week, before you finally trusted that no one would hurt him. I love you for that, for protecting him when mommy couldn't.
Today I watched you digging a hole, so deep that you might dig all the way to China ("Who's China, mom?"). So intent that you didn't even look up at me.
But of course, I saw him coming toward you, with that look in his eye. The one that says that he wants to do JUST what big brother is doing.
So intent you were, you didn't even notice him.
Until suddenly, you were digging out a foot along with your dirt, and I wondered how you'd react to the intrusion on your serious excavation.
I knew, then, as you said, "Oh no! I got dirt on Tommy," and reached over to gently brush off his back, that you are most certainly right for this job, this daunting task of being a big brother.