Six months ago, something big happened in your life. Shortly after your second birthday, you got promoted to big brother and were no longer an only child. Whether you understood the significance of this event at the time, you surpassed all the expectations I had for you and behaved like a champ.
When you came to visit me in the hospital that afternoon your brother was born, you were excited to meet the little boy everyone was ooing and aweing about (little did you know that baby was coming home with us!). When you saw me laying in that funny-looking bed, you knew that mami was not feeling very well, so you were extra affectionate. The three nights you stayed at grandma’s house, you had no trouble breaking from your routine and sleeping at night. You even had me questioning why I even worried about your temporary evening arrangements in the first place. And when mami and baby brother came home from the hospital, your first instinct was to bring me one of the diapers from the changing station I had prepared for your brother. How sweet of you to remember that the diapers were for your new brother.
On the months prior to your big promotion, I wondered what it would feel like to fall in love with your brother. I asked myself how I could fit more love in my heart when I was already so deeply in love with you. Would my heart expand and make room for one more, or would I trim a little from your love and your dad’s love to give some to baby Lucas? And then the inevitably terrifying questions creeped up on my mind: Would I love one of you more than the other? Would I have favorites? All these questions dissipated when I saw you kiss you brother in the head for the first time. When I held you both in my arms, and wondered incredulously how lucky I am to have you both in my life.
Sure, your new-brother excitement faded away quickly after you realized that you had to share mami’s attention and time with this new family member. Our evening routine now involves you waiting for mami to put the new baby to sleep first. When both of you want or need mami at the same time, you usually come second because you’re the big brother and he is a baby. Because you are older and you should know better. Because you need to learn to share. The house suddenly became louder and busier.
In the midst of all the commotion that our lives have become, I looked at you one night and realized that being a big brother is only one part of your identity. As I watch you play and laugh carelessly, I am reminded that you are an individual; curious, bossy, confident, affectionate, unapologetic. But above all, you are, my first-born son.