While I was pregnant with baby #2, I often worried about how a new addition to our family would affect Porter and my relationship with him. I worried that it would somehow mean that I would love him less because I would be sharing my love with another child. I worried that he would feel jealous or resentful of his new brother or sister. And while I realize it’s only been a short three and a half weeks since Porter has officially been given the title of big brother, I have been so amazed at how he’s reacted to it all.
Some people warned me about how Porter might react. Others gave me advice. But no one ever told me that it would somehow make me love him more. I didn’t think it was possible to feel any more love for my little boy, but somehow, I do.
You’re a big brother. Can you believe it? On June 2, I left for the hospital, and even at the age of two, there was still plenty of baby left in you. On June 3 when you came to visit us in the hospital, every ounce of baby was gone. It was like you grew up over night, and when your sweet voice yelled “Mommy!” at the sight of me, my heart swelled so much I was sure it was going to burst out of my chest.
You’ve turned into a miraculous little boy, and though you’ve only had twenty three days of experience, you’ve turned into a fantastic big brother, too.
No, you’re not perfect (far from it.) You do throw tantrums. Just the other day you hated life because you wanted a bigger plate at breakfast, and getting you dressed into real clothes out of your pajamas each day is a real battle (for some reason you grow very attached to whatever pajamas you wear each evening and throw a fit when we try to take them off.) You get time outs when you refuse to clean up your toys, and most nights we’re lucky if we can get you to eat more than four bites at dinner.
But, you love your sister.
When we come to get you out of bed in the morning, the first words out of your mouth are usually “Where is baby Cayia?” Though, admittedly, sometimes that is the second phrase that you utter as some mornings you ask for faffles (waffles) for breakfast first. You recently learned the word cute and you probably tell me at least twenty times a day that “Baby Cayia is cute.” It warms my heart. When she cries, you try to console her by saying “Okay, baby Cayia, okay.” and I know you’re trying to tell her that everything will be okay. I can only hope that when Cayia starts dating in fifteen years and she gets her heart broken for the first time that you’ll console her just the same (while at the same time assuring her that the boy who broke her heart is an idiot and worthless.)
I worried that you would feel neglected and that you would feel jealous of the attention we’re giving to the baby, but so far, you haven’t acted that way at all. You seem to understand your role as a big brother, and you have memorized the words to the Best Ever Big Brother book we have been reading to you the past few months.
Even though Cayia has only been a part of our lives for twenty three days, I’m excited to see her grow and change into the little girl she’ll become. I know a lot of moms dread seeing their babies grow up– and trust me, I feel that way, too–but I look forward to discovering and learning all about this new little human. I can’t wait to see who she becomes because I’ve seen who you have become, and you continue to amaze me every day.
I love how when you choose a toy, you share your internal dialogue with us. We often hear you say “Let’s see here…” as you peruse all your options.
I love how excited you are about your surroundings. I’ll never get tired of your commentary as we drive in the car. “Ohh, big truck!” and “Red means stop and green means go” and “Mama, the trees are pretty” and all your other little phrases are my favorite. I also love how excited you get when we go underneath a bridge. You never fail to ask. “Mama, more bridges?”
I love how when making a decision, you sometimes put your finger to your chin and declare “Hmmm…” as you think. I have no idea where you picked this up, but it’s adorable.
I love your recent fascination with hide and seek. I love even more that you peek whenever you’re the one who’s counting.
I love how you say “Bwess (bless) you” when we sneeze, and it’s especially cute when you say “Bwess you, baby Cayia” when your little sister sneezes.
I love how you cross your legs and tap your foot when you’re sitting on the couch. Somehow this makes you seem so grown up.
I love how you get out your toy vacuum whenever I vacuum. You exclaim that “Porter wants to help!” and you truly think that you’re helping Mommy clean the house. I just hope that this continues into your teenage years. I’m sure I’ll need and want the help then.
I love how seriously you take your role as second man of the house. You mimic Daddy and like to rattle off demands to Maggie. Whether it’s “Sit!”, “Lay down!” , “(Pee) in the grass!”, “Maggie, come!” or “Eat, Maggie,” it’s adorable that you think she’ll listen to you even though she’s taller than you are.
I love how independent you’re becoming. You climb in and out of your high chair on your own, and you can even climb in and out of your car seat. You are so proud of yourself and know that this makes you such a big boy. Whenever we go to brush teeth, you exclaim, “Porter try!” because you want to do it all by yourself.
And while you’re such a big boy and gaining independence, you still sleep with a blankie, and lately, you sleep with your toy tractor, too, and we let you because we think it’s so adorable. It’s even adorable when you wake up at two a.m. looking for your tractor and we can hear you over the monitor saying, “Tractor, where’d you go?” and this is saying a lot because every minute of sleep at this point is precious.
So, yes, you’re a big boy, and I love the little person you’ve become, and while all the baby may be gone from you, you’ll always be my baby.
Thank you for filling our hearts with so much joy, Porter. And thank you for loving your sister. You truly are the best big brother.