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Their Relationship Isn’t What I Planned, and That’s OK

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As I lay in bed next to our 4-year-old, I feel myself wanting to hug him tighter and apologize. Some nights I look at his innocent face and tears well up in my eyes. This was not what we had planned for him.

The beauty is… he has no idea of the plans I made. He doesn’t know that I envisioned him helping his little brother ride his old trike around the block on a warm sunny day. He has no idea that I had scrapbook paper for the classic photos of shared baths in a tub full of bubbles. He doesn’t have a clue that I could hear their squeals of laughter and loud footsteps as they chased each other around the house. He doesn’t realize that I had their sibling relationship mapped out in my head before he even knew he was going to be a big brother.

Plans change. He helps his baby brother grab toys and stands next to him when he’s working hard in his stander. He’s part of the cheering squad during therapy. Throughout bath time, he sits next to the tub with me to help “make him happy.” He can light up his baby brother’s face by kissing his neck and playing peek-a-boo with his beloved monkey.

When his baby brother is crying and I’m whispering, “It’s okay, mommy’s here,” he looks into his eyes and says, “I’m here, baby brother, I’m here.”

He loves his baby brother so very much, and he doesn’t know about the plans I made. He will never know, and to be honest, I don’t think he cares. He loves his brother for who he is, not for who he isn’t.

He loves him for what he does, not for what he doesn’t do. He thinks his brother is special, but not for the reasons others know he’s special. He’s his big brother and that’s reason enough.

My plans changed and that’s OK. I’m still learning to let go of the relationship I thought they would have, but embracing their blossoming one is incredibly easy.

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Originally published: March 27, 2015
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