I've been tremendously blessed by my nine year old's love and care for his newest baby brother. The sweet young man who laughed and cried when his Baba and I revealed that we were expecting again, has not responded with any less joy and enthusiasm now that the anticipation has grown to become more responsibility and slightly more chaos. In fact, he mentions at least once a day, that he wishes we could keep having babies forever.
I remind the boys daily that they will be best friends for the rest of their lives. I say this not because they are guaranteed to be, but rather because there's no reason for them not to be, especially if they treat each other as such, now. Number 5 is coming into a pack of boys who are fiercely close friends and tightly knit as brothers. I'm blessed to see them consider their baby brother as an addition, and not a subtraction.
Even amidst the battles, the misunderstandings, the forgiving, and the sharing, these boys appear to treasure brotherhood.
"The rewards are so much greater than the difficulties," my eldest says to me when I ask him if he thinks it's worth it. Sometimes I think he is wise beyond his years.
And though the littlest man has no idea what great adventures and comradery awaits him, his big brother whispers in his ear, "When you get older, I'll give you piggybacks down the stairs."
My first baby is now the big brother that doctors a bloody nose, that mediates pre-schooler disputes, comforts a wounded heart, and takes special request for how each boy likes their sandwiches for lunch. I'm so thankful that he's setting the example of brotherhood, demonstrating that each of his brothers is so worth it.