We are laying side by side and you are asleep at last. Your curls that daddy thinks we should cut off frame your beautiful face and I try to lay completely still and only move my thumbs to type this as not to wake you because goodness knows you’re grumpy when you’re woken. I just wanted to tell you something. I wanted to tell you that everything is going to be just fine. That I know there are going to be times ahead which will be confusing for you. Or which make you feel sad, or angry and that’s ok. There will also be times, like tonight, that make you happy.
Your favourite thing in the world is to be chased. To hide in the curtains and be found. For someone to sneak up on you and make you jump. Tonight your Daddy and I watched from the kitchen while you ran up and down being chased by your big brother who you are always so, so desperate to play with. It seemed so much like he was chasing you didn’t it? I don’t think it mattered that he wasn’t really. Just running up and down the lounge in the way he often needs to at the end of the day. You were laughing your tiny little head off as you ran up and down with him and to the casual observer it would have looked like you were playing together.
But Daddy and I could see that he was somewhere else.
My darling boy, I see your face when we whisper in his ear “can you give Kit a cuddle?” Or “can you hold Kit’s hand?” so you don’t hear. So it seems like he spontaneously comes to you. I see your eyes light up when there is a glimmer of recognition from him.
You’ve started to seek out other children. I see you shyly drawn to them at parties or in the library or even in the supermarket. The other day a mum and I had to stop in the aisle while our children who had never met shared a cuddle that you initiated. The little girl smiled at you and awkwardly cuddled you right back. The girl in the library shared her toys with you and played your favourite game of hiding. Games you should be able to play with your brother.
I’m sorry you can’t.
I’m sorry that he can’t.
Not yet darling but he is only 4 and you are only 1 and there are many, many years ahead for you to find your way together. I know not what the future holds for you both. I can only dream of the day that we won’t have to whisper in his ear anymore.
I make lots of jokes about how grumpy you are Kit. Because you are grumpy. But you are also sweet and shy and funny. So, so funny. And I get it. I know how it hurts when he turns his back on you and walks into the other room leaving you with open arms and a broken heart. Because sometimes he does it to me too.He doesn’t mean to hurt you. He would never hurt anyone. He is gentle and sweet too. Innocently breaking hearts by just being him.
I can make some promises though. I promise that you are so loved. That you will always be loved. That you and I have a special thing that’s just ours. Sometimes we have to dig deep passed all the foot stamping and frowning and screeching but you are so me my child. You’re so me that I am already terrified for your teenage years.
You’re stirring now and murmuring in your sleep. Your hot breath is on my cheek and smells of strawberry toothpaste. I am trying not to cry on you.
There are lessons to be learned for all of us but for now we will keep on whispering in his ear for you. Because I haven’t seen you laugh like that before and only he could have mustered it. My beautiful boys. What will become of us all?