Have I told you lately how proud I am of you? Things have been pretty hectic around here so I might not say it as much as I should. You are turning into one heck of a big brother. You blow me away every day with just how kind and gentle you are with Jamie. And I know it can be hard to watch where your feet are all the time, or to know when he’s not that keen on a big brother cuddle, but you’re trying so hard and I’m so very, very proud.
I know things were rough there for a while. The day that I disappeared to the hospital must have been a bit strange, especially when I didn’t come home that night or the next or the next. And even when I did come home, I had to go back to the hospital so many times. And it must have been confusing not knowing each day if you were going to be hanging with Dad, or Nana, or Nan, or Poppa, or having an extra day playing with your friends at daycare. But you just took it in your stride, like you do with everything else.
When you finally got to meet your baby brother I thought my heart would burst with love. You seemed to hardly notice the incubator, or all the cords, or the bright blue lights as you peered through the window, exclaiming to all the nurses, “that’s my brother, Jamie!” And you were so proud when the nurse with the purple hair put the little bunny rabbit you bought him into the corner of his little bed. You wanted to take him home but you tried so hard to understand that he needed time to grow big and strong like you.
Remember those nights, when Jamie was still in hospital, and we would lay together, snuggled in your bed after reading your favourite books. You’d be starting to drift off but still fighting against the sleepiness like you always have. And I’d be fighting it too, so cosy and warm tucked up in your big boy bed. Then we’d hear the phone ring and the door would slowly open. Daddy would be there, in the slither of light, whispering, “you’ve got to go.” And as I pulled myself up from our little cocoon you would cling to me and cry, “I need you.” Well I would cry too. I would cry all the way to the hospital, barely able to see through the dark night. I would wipe away my tears just long enough to ask the receptionists to open the big doors then I would cry all the way down the long, empty corridors to your baby brother. And as I tried desperately to get him to latch and feed, the one thing that could reunite us as a family if he could just learn to feed on his own, I cried some more.
But I knew you were safe. And loved. I knew Daddy would be drying your eyes and helping you blow your nose. I knew he would be snuggled up under the blankets with you. I knew you would be both asleep, Daddy snoring softly with the TV still going in the lounge. And I knew I was right where I needed to be right at that moment. It hurt my heart so bad but I also knew it was not forever and soon we’d be all together as a family.
And then one day we were! You came home from daycare and there he was. You rushed to him, and quietly said, “hello Jamie”. And all was right in the world at that very moment.
There is so much I love about you being almost three. You are a little parrot and you repeat everything you hear, even if the words don’t come out quite right. You make up songs, you tell funny stories and you’re never happier than when you have a car in each hand – zooming them around an imaginary track. You’re fearless during the day. You run fast, jump high and say exactly what’s on your mind to anyone who will listen.
In the night you let your guard down. You come into our bed in the dark, pulling yourself up and climbing in between me and Daddy. You always whisper, “cuddle mummy?” and you snuggle close as I wrap my arms around you. It sounds like a question but there’s never any question. I know I should put you back in your own bed but instead I hold on tight because you need me. You are still my baby, my first born, the amazing little boy who made me a mummy.