Brothers

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Robbie has been waiting for Alex to be born for about 30 weeks – and eternity to any four-year-old.  He’s planned Alex’s nursery and made detailed lists in his head about everything he would teach his little brother.We talked about Alex, and Robbie kissed my belly every night.  But, when it came down to it, I wasn’t sure what would happen when it came time for Robbie to actually meet his little brother.

Rob tends to get shy during important moments, hiding behind my back, especially if there are people around.  I set my expectations of a perfect brother introduction fairly low.  There is only one time in your life when you will meet your baby brother for the first time, and, as much as I wanted it to be perfect, hoping that it would be would only set me up for disappointment.  The labor and delivery nurse suggested having Alex in the bassinet, so Robbie could spend a little time with me first.

We didn’t know exactly when Robbie was coming, so there was no time to get Alex into the bassinet.  Instead, my sister was holding him.  I happened to be up when Robbie came through the door, laden with flowers and Cheetos.  I crouched down for a hug, ready to hold my first-born and prepare him to meet his brother.  Robbie shoved the flowers into my hand, skirted around me, and made a beeline for his baby brother.

“Alex!  It’s me!  Your big brother!” he exclaimed and he peered into Alex’s face.  All worries of a not-so-perfect introduction vanished.  Robbie knew what was going on, and he was ready to be a big brother.

I asked if he wanted to hold Alex, and Robbie smiled and ran to the big chair to sit down.  The look on his face, the pride and joy, and he looked at his baby brother was nothing I could have expected.  He beamed, making sure to carefully hold Alex.  Eventually, we moved to my bed, where the three of us sat together for the first time.  My two boys and me.  It was a little surreal, having my arm around Robbie as he held on to Alex and looked at him with the biggest eyes I’ve ever seen.

It was hard for Robbie to leave – and hard for us to watch him go.  He sobbed, begging to stay and promising to help with Alex.  I can’t wait to get home and have everyone together.  It helps knowing he’s in good hands with Nona, Pops, and Aunt Hilary, but it’s not the same as all of us being together.

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