Brotherly Love

Since we found out I was having another boy, we've been telling Marco about his brother.  We would point to my growing belly and say, "It's your brother", and then we'd ask him, "Where's your brother?" and he'd stick his finger deep into my belly button.  We were never sure if he knew there was a baby in there, or if he just thought that Mama's belly was named "brother".  Then when I was admitted into the hospital, we would tell him that his brother was almost here.  He would always give us a blank stare.
Once Jonas arrived, Marco was unable to meet him... even for just a second.  The NICU rule is that siblings ages 4 and older are allowed to visit... Marco did not meet the requirements!  This kinda broke my heart.  I wanted Marco to know he had a baby brother, but we weren't sure if he was comprehending or grasping the concept.  All we could do was show him pictures daily.  He would laugh and point at the pictures and we would tell him, "that's your brother!".  I had a picture as my phone wallpaper and when I'd ask him where his brother was, he'd turn on my phone and point to his picture.  At this point, we weren't sure if he knew brother was a real baby, or if he just thought it was a picture, like from a book or TV.
Then the big day came, and we were able to bring Jonas home... Marco was finally going to meet his baby brother!
Mauricio went into the house ahead of me to grab the video camera, and he told him he was going to see his brother.  As I walked in the door holding Jonas, he stood looking apprehensive and curious.  I went to sit on the couch and invited him to see Jonas.  Without another word, Marco came over and gave Jonas a hug and a kiss!  He was being as nice and gentle as he knew how.  He was stroking his head and touching his fingers and trying to kiss his face all over!
At the time, Mauricio and I were terrified and trying to control the situation, making sure Marco was being gentle enough.  But as I later reflected on what had happened, I began to cry.  I think Marco did understand the whole time!  He knew that Jonas was his baby brother!  He loves his little bro!
Since Jonas has been home, things have been interesting with Marco.  For the most part, he's super gentle and loving towards Jonas.  He wants to see him, wants to hold him, wants to touch him.  He runs to the room if he starts to cry, and wants to help us with him.  But, as was expected, he has also become more needy with me and Mau.  He also decides to act out when he knows I'm occupied with nursing or diaper changing.  For example, I was feeding Jonas on the couch, and Marco decides to climb up the dining room chair and onto the table, and before I know it, he's standing in the center of the dining room table, screaming.  It's funny to think about it now, but oh, so aggravating as it was occurring.  Another time, I asked Marco to throw Jonas' diaper away, (he knows where it goes), and he ran into the bathroom and threw it into the toilet!  Thankfully that only happened once.  Now, as I'm changing Jonas' diaper, Marco is waiting with his hand out to go throw the diaper away... in it's appropriate place!
Being the mother of one is very fulfilling.  But there is something super special and unique about seeing your first interacting with your second.  I am so proud of Marco for being such a good big bro.  I can't wait to be a spectator in the lives of my boys!  I am eagerly waiting to see the kind of relationship that unfolds between them.
Here's my Table For Four:
(and Marco is crying because we wouldn't let him hold Jonas!  This picture perfectly defines us right now!)


Nicole said...

Oh Nicole. I am so happy to see you and your beautiful family and read about your new adventures. I love how observant and appreciative you are of small moments like these that some people take for granted. God bless you, your husband and your beautiful little ones!

Stephanie Doyle said...

What a beautiful family you have!