My baby brother Dylan was born 7 years ago (yesterday). He was the biggest surprise, and to be completely honest I wasn’t too thrilled to learn I would be a big sister again at age 15. I was undoubtedly in my selfish phase and I was annoyed my Dad and his girlfriend were starting a new family. I worried I would be left behind or forgotten…or other concerns bratty teenagers whine about. My love for Dylan is different than the love I have for my brother Peyton. Peyton is 17, we are 5 years apart, we grew up building forts together, collecting beanie babies, pulling each other’s hair, etc., etc. My love for Peyton is the sort of love I imagine most siblings feel for one another. I love Peyt with all of my heart, but sometimes I really just want to punch him in the face.
My love for Dylan is a love I hadn’t felt before at the time. Don’t think I’m a horrible sibling I don’t love Dylan any MORE than I love Peyt, but the love is just different. The large age gap meant many of the traditional sibling experiences wouldn’t be possible. Dylan lives with his Mom and I left for college when he was 3. We have never fight over who has to do the dishes, we don’t ride to school together in the morning, and most importantly we don’t see each other on a daily basis. Yet, my love for Dylan is the closest I have ever come to feeling parental love (or what I imagine it to be). My love for Dylan feels protective. I want to coddle him from the mean world, to keep him safe from bullies and bad guys and heartbreak. I want to remind him to wear sunscreen, and brush his teeth and nag my Dad not to let him drink soda because it is soo sugary and bad for you and his poor baby teeth can’t handle it. I find myself pushing him to turn off his ipad and read a book, urging him not to litter, and indoctrinating his malleable little mind to value education, equality and critical thinking. I want him to have every opportunity possible, passionately on the inside I can feel how badly I want to give him the best experiences life has to offer! I want his 7 year old self to go to Summer camp, to play on a soccer team, to vacation to interesting new places and to have an abundance of friends.
The kind of love I feel for Dylan has only been emulated by the love I feel for my Sugar Plum Princesses (nanny babies), yet this love still doesn’t measure up to my deep rooted tenderness for my baby brother.
I honestly can’t imagine what it will feel like to be a mother someday (some very far far away day). I can’t imagine being in charge of caring for and raising another person who you love so purely in a way you have never loved before and knowing it is your job to teach them, support them and help them grow! In a weird way having a baby brother (along with being a nanny) has taught me so much about what I want for my own future. I can’t pretend to know much about parenting, I certainly don’t, but I have realized how much I absoloutely love and value children (even if they can be total jerks sometimes).
I’m the only one of my siblings and cousins who has expressed any sort of interest in having children ever in life, and consequently I probably seem like I have total baby fever. To clear the air there, I DO NOT! I love children and know that someday I want to have/adopt my own but today is not that day, and the next five years aren’t looking too good either.
Do you have any siblings? Do your relationships between each of them differ or do you feel the same about all the people who share your genetic makeup? When/how did you discover whether you do/don’t want to have children of your own someday?