9 years ago today I was having my first baby, a huge 9 lb 21 inch long boy! He came into this world a happy and sleepy boy, with a bruised face from coming through the birth canal so quickly. As a new mom, I couldn't have asked for a better baby. Other than a few tough days with gas issues, he was always happy. And he slept, all the time! I used to have to wake him up to feed him! I remember spending hours just staring at him. How could anything be so beautiful and tiny and perfect?
The thing is, I never wanted to be a mom. I didn't grow up feeling like children were a joy and a blessing. I was so afraid that I would not feel affection and love for him. Heavenly Father must have known that I was feeling this way, because he sent me the most gentle, sweet spirit he could find. Big Brother changed who I am. He loved me unconditionally. Everything he did was a joy. It has been such a sweet experience watching him grow up and develop.
His sweet spirit, his innocence, his willingness to believe the best about everyone he meets, all speak to his loving, kind nature. He always welcomes anyone into the play circle and is a pretty loyal friend. He remembers kids' names the first time he meets them. He remembers things about their personalities. He loves funny people. He's sensitive and gets his feelings hurt when people are mean. But he's also quick to forgive.
He's been a great Big Brother. When Little Man was born, Big Brother used to stand over him and talk to him. He'd love on him and kiss Little Man's forehead. Big Brother loves deeply.
Now he is 9 and he is trying to grow up. He likes to look good in front of his friends. He won't let me hug him in public anymore. He used to trust me implicitly. Now he is 9 and he likes to let me know that I don't know everything. He's always been pretty independent and is starting to really want to express his independence. I don't always like how he goes about it, but I am realizing I need to let him experience the world in a way that works for him, as long as it isn't disrespectful to others. It's painful for me to let him do that, I can't stand watching him get hurt. I try to take a "wait and see" approach and only step in when things could get really bad. My approach sometimes bothers him, he doesn't want me to step in at all, he wants to do it all on his own. Until it all goes horribly wrong and he's left with a big mess. Then he's mad that I didn't step in. Guess he's still trying to work out the detrails of how to be independent. He doesn't get that he hasn't developed the skills to handle it all on his own yet. Or maybe I don't get that he has his own way of developing those skills. But I think his way is scarier and harder with lots more potential to backfire and cause long term emotional baggage. But what do I know? I'm just a 44 year old mom remembering how her 9 year old boy came into this world. Big Brother obviously has enough confidence to try some things out. After all, he's 9 today! And everybody knows 9 year old boys know ALOT!!!! So here's to you, Big Brother!! I hope your previous 8 years has prepared you well for your 9th year and that this year is filled with many great experiences that will help you become the person you want to be. Just know, no matter who you become, I will always love you. You help me strive to be a better person every day. You have been an incredible teacher, Big Brother and my life is full because you are a part of it!