(No, we're not actually Mormons. Yes, we were one of the smaller families in the circle in which I grew up. No, I don't want my own children. Yes, I am the oldest.)
My brother, we'll call him Cib, was my baby.
|Look at those curls!|
|What a sweet face!|
Ignore the early '90s clothes. Isn't his hair adorable? Didn't he have the cutest baby cheeks?
He was mine. I woke up in the middle of the night with him, gave him his 3AM feedings, changed all his diapers until, thankfully, he was potty trained. I took him with me everywhere. Each nap time, and every evening, he would fall asleep curled up in my arms, drinking his bottle and pulling on my hair (his own version of a safety blanket, I guess).
Cib was not the baby of the family. (The baby of the family is my other baby, but that's another story.) But that did not matter. He was always my baby in my mind.
Last year, he graduated from high school.
That was the first indication that maybe he was no longer a baby. He was growing up -- far too quickly, if you asked me.
He told me to stop patting his hair -- which by this point was cropped closely so that few people would know he used to have long, curly locks.
He set out to prove that he could take care of himself. And he can. He's good at it. He's sensitive, insightful, and each day he grows in wisdom and experience. I am so proud of him....even though I miss being able to pick him up and squeeze his chubby little body and cover his face in nose-kisses.
Today, my baby turns 18. I can't even imagine that much time has gone by since I was getting up in the middle of the night and rocking him back to sleep. He loves me, but he doesn't really need me any more, and which I find that sad, it's also comforting. He's learning to be a real adult, learning to take on adult responsibilities. He cut the apron strings, but still makes sure that I know he loves me just like I love him.
Today he is an adult, officially, in the eyes of the world. And recently, too, I have been able to look at him and see him as an adult. I can see a glimmer of what he will be in another 18 years and I like what I see. But today I also look back with more than a little bit of nostalgia to say, "My baby, I love you."
|Best brothers, best friends|
|Two handsome boys!|