To my sweet baby Brayden,
I’m sure you’ve noticed I’ve gotten bigger, slower, and a little more tired, but I doubt you realize the significance of these changes. Since I first learned that you, my little boy, would be made less little by becoming a big brother, I’ve wondered what it all would mean. For you, for me, for our family… Especially these last few weeks, I’ve found myself worrying about how you’ll feel when a new little love is brought into our family. There’s so much I want to tell you about the wonderful chaos that is waiting just around the corner, but I don’t know how. As we cuddle up with our books, collect colorful leaves on our walks, practice our hockey passes outside, I struggle to find the words. So, I guess I will just write them here. Maybe someday you’ll find them and you’ll understand. You’ll nod your head about how smart your mommy is. How she knew so well the things you’d need to know as you made your way into the Older Sibling Club…
First, you may not always like your little brother, but you will always love him. Always. This is the reason why you might say something mean to him, it might even be true, but when someone else says the exact same thing, you might morph into a Hulk-version of yourself. Being protective is a natural instinct when it comes to your siblings. And your unconditional love for him will excuse a few minor not-so-niceties that, coming from anyone else, would be unacceptable.
Second, he will look up to you from the moment he is born. Yes, it will get annoying when he wants to follow you around and play with your toys and do whatever you do. But, you will always have a sidekick, a playmate, a friend. A cowboy to your Indian, a bad guy to your good, a forward to your defense (unless you somehow both become goalies like your Daddy and Uncle Mike.) This trade-off works in your favor, I promise. But have no doubt there will come a day where he confides in you. Not in his dad or mom, but in his brother. Be it with a personal struggle, a girl problem, or the request for you to buy him and his underage buddies some beer. When this happens, you are under no obligation to tell him what he wants to hear. Let his friends do that. He may not like what you have to say, but he will trust that whatever you advise will be in his best interest. He will know, whether he admits it or not, that you know him better than anyone else. You will either have the answer or the tools he needs to find it within himself. Don’t take this responsibility lightly. And don’t forget that he will be there for you to do the same, minus the beer. This will be one of the greatest gifts of your brotherhood, worth more than all of the annoyances and disagreements that come with the territory.
And, finally, no matter who your little brother turns out to be, your daddy and I will always love you. And while we won’t love you more than him, we won’t love you less either. Despite what your Aun-T might tell you about her being Gramma and Grampa’s “favorite” daughter, there is no such thing as a favorite child. You’ll have to trust me on this one, because you might not fully understand it until you have a baby of your own some thirty years from now. Even though I have always felt loved immensely, I couldn’t truly fathom my parents’ love for me until you were born. The reason that there won’t be favorites is that my love for you is immeasurable. My love for your brother will also be immeasurable. And you can’t compare infinity to infinity… you just can’t.
I remember before you were born feeling overwhelmed by the reality that our lives were about to change forever. I have the same feeling now, but I know, thanks to you, just how wonderful that change is going to be. So, my little Knight, no matter what lies ahead, have faith that your brother will be as great a gift in your life as you’ll be in his. And please don’t ever lose sight of how much I love you…
xo - Mom