On the last night you were my baby…

On the last night you were my baby your dad and I let you stay up a little bit longer. Even though tomorrow was a big day, we let the minutes tick past your bedtime, not ready to let go.

We sandwiched your sturdy little body between us and marveled at how you’ve grown. Two and a half years flew by so fast.

We felt nervous for you. Anxious. Excited. In so many ways it was like the night before we brought you into this world.

Tonight is the last night we’ll spend with just you. Tomorrow you’ll be the oldest sibling. The first born, but not the only.

Will you look on with wonder at your new little friend? Or will you cry for attention, confused at how things have changed? We pondered these questions and felt as joyous about this new life as we felt scared for how we were changing yours.

That night, when it was finally time, we brought you to your bed. How could you no longer be our baby? I held you closer, kissed you gently, brushed my hand against your cheek, and whispered “I love you so much” until you returned the words to me.

With tears in our eyes we laid you down and hovered until your breathing turned heavy with sleep.

In the morning, we handed you to grandma, barely able to say goodbye. Could you feel the change? Were you ready for this day?

And then he was here, your sweet little brother. Perfect and pink and puffed. My heart doubles to fit him and suddenly I’m not so afraid because I know yours will too. We make plans for you to see him and we wait with excitement.

You hesitate at first. And that’s okay because this place is strange and mom looks hurt and there’s no way to prepare you entirely.

But then you smile and we see recognition. This is the little person we’ve talked about so many times while you rubbed and kissed my belly. Holding your ear close hoping to hear a sign of life.

With each passing day you grow more and more sure that this is a person you adore. Our hearts swell with pride as we see you transition into the big brother we always knew you would be. You’re delicate and soft when you touch his small feet. You’re impatient, always waiting for your turn to hold the baby. All of these things wash away the small fear that we were taking something from you.

There will be days when you don’t want to share and he frustrates you and you wish you could just get away. But on every other day we know you’ll be glad for your built in best friend. He is your partner, your pal and the person you’ll turn to when your dad and I are no longer here. And for every memory ahead I know this is truly the best gift we can give you.

On the last night you were our baby, it was the last night you were alone. The last night you’d be without a companion. The first night of a childhood that will be filled with shared adventures. We can’t wait to watch you both grow. And we know that your little brother is in good hands with you as his guide.