You grow quiet as we drive in to the school grounds and you anticipate him leaving you. You wimper every time his school bag and friendship retreat off down into the playground and we drive away.
Your voice rises in excitement as he gets in the car at the end of the day, and you go through every detail of your last six hours, lest he might have missed you as much as you’ve missed him. He looks at you through tired-glazed eyes, but knows it’s important to you… “That sounds like fun!” he musters up, looking straight into your smiling eyes, smiling as well.
Now you need to know what he did during his day; who he played with, how was art class and what was in his lunchbox today. “Was it fun?”
You sit as close to him as you can, while he unwinds on the lounge with some tele after school. Sometimes it’s right up and on him. You chatter through the story he’s trying to listen to. He doesn’t mind. He has missed you just as much. He puts his arm around you and you snuggle under the blanket together.
We drop you off for an hour at nanny’s, and he strains out the window, yelling “have fun” as we drive off. He repeats over and over that he thinks you’ll have a fun time, convincing himself that you’ll be alright in your separation. And as soon as that hour is up, he is asking when we will go and get you.
You play together, rumble, and spend most of your time giggling. You bicker, but never argue; one of you always feels sorry for the other ultimately and the friendship is immediately restored. If you are in trouble, he sticks up for you.. “he wants to say sorry mum”…
You have copied him from the moment you could: Laughing when he laughed at 4 months old, at what you didn’t know… Walking two steps behind him everywhere when you were one…Building the same Lego ship when you were four. Now I watch you observe him reading and learning at five, knowing that will be next.
You want to be clever at art like him, and brilliant at soccer, just the same as him. But it pains you when you can’t keep up. And when I suggest doing something different, using your own special skills, you look at me in amusement, as if I’ve gone mad.
My sister asks how she will ever love another baby as much as she loves her first. I say, you will, it will be just as amazing and great. But, infinitely better, is that then, you will see them love each other.