The Changing of the Guard


August’s arrival on Tuesday has marked the beginning of a profound journey for all of us, and most of us are handling it with the grace and reverence and joy it deserves. 

Most of us.

For Don and me, parents twice already, August’s homecoming has not changed our roles significantly.  We were parents before; we are parents (although with slightly less sleep) now.   It has been seamless, effortless.

Oscar has been a big brother as long as he can remember.  Edgar, who came home to us at ten weeks and is only a year younger than Oscar, was introduced to a big brother who, at 14 months, wasn’t really very big.  Oscar has handled August’s arrival by alternately seeking out new responsibilities and staring in amazement at his beautiful baby brother.

But Edgar . . . well, he has been the baby for the last four years–a position he has made no qualms about relishing.   And all the adjustments one might expect from a four-year-old–and the only one of us–whose role has changed are manifesting themselves.  He is in love with his baby brother but not entirely thrilled with me.    And though I have said and done all the “right things” one might expect and reputable experts recommend, nothing quite prepares a person for such a change–especially a four-year-old person. 

So, Edgar, I will tell you here (because I know you won’t read this for many years hence) that even though I told you tonight that some of your behavior today was “not okay,” it really was–and more than that perfectly understandable.   Your family is with you and behind you as you navigate your feelings and move toward acceptance.   And though your role in your family has changed, your place never will.   As you told me tonight, “I found you, and you found me.  And then we were a family.”  Truer words were never spoken! 



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