Since the very first moments you met your big brother, I could tell you were very interested in him. Your eyes told me so. It's as if you've been listening to him for so many months, hanging on every word he's said, just waiting for the chance to meet him. You are most alert and most content it seems when you're listening to Cruz play - it's been one of my most favorite things to witness so far. You are just days old and you already seem to love him so much. And really, I'm not surprised in the least. He's pretty special, this big brother of ours, and I've been so very proud of him this past week as he's navigated this new world of his.
Maybe it's because I'm hyper aware right now that his world has changed and I'm paying more attention to him, or simply that I'm spending more time in our recliner nursing the baby, but I've been noticing so much about Cruz the past couple of weeks. Little, menial things that say so much about who my boy is. He is melting me lately, the sparkle in his big brown eyes, his patience when his baby sister interrupts our play, and the little things that make him so happy, from a dance party when Daddy's home from work, a completed puzzle all by himself, or a story about sharks before bed.
...Or the way he always requests two Dr. Seuss books before naptime and usually falls asleep during the second.
...Or the way he always asks Beau about his Grandma J before they read Yertle the Turtle.
...Or the way he nonchalantly responds 'aye aye captain,' when I ask him to do something.
...Or when he asked Beau the other night during storytime, "Can I put my head on your shoulder?"
...Or the time he asked, "Who's that pretty girl?" referring to Vanna White, as I nursed Mila during an episode of Wheel of Fortune.
...Or the way he refers to Beau's friend, Andy, with his first and last name. Last night, Andy stopped by to bring Cruz some of his favorite childhood cars. Cruz thought they were awesome and later that night said, "Andy Mullinex brought me these cars and they are special to me."
Cruz has been pretty funny with Baby Mila since bringing her home. At times, he doesn't show much interest at all, and other times, I'll catch him coming to check on her while I'm changing her or making sure she's included when we play something together. This morning, I caught him trying to show Mila his Iron Man toy and tonight, I saw him using her back as a ramp for his race cars. We also have to keep our eye on Mila's swing as he likes to walk by and nonchalantly turn the speed up every now and then. He's quite interested in the whole nursing thing and repeatedly assures me that "big boys don't eat like that." The other day, I was nursing her and Cruz came over to check things out. He stopped by the top of her head, smelled her, and said, "ooh, she smells so good." Even a three year old can pick up on that one.
My favorite is when he holds her. He hasn't requested to hold her on his own yet, but every time I ask him he is very interested. He's really quite good at holding her, and it's amazing to see a natural nurturer surface as he gently grabs her hand, kisses the top of her head, or tilts his little head to get a better look of her face. It's the most precious thing, an early picture of the bond the two of them will have as they get bigger.
Last Monday, Beau got home from work and asked how my first day at home was. And there, in the kitchen, while Cruz was still asleep in our bed, I cried big tears for my little boy. His world has changed so much, and I'm so very proud of how he's handled it. He's been so go-with-the-flow, soaking up the time we make for him and being so patient when he has to share. If anything, he seems to appreciate our special time even more than he did before. I just want him to know that although our days may not look like they used to, our love for him has only grown since bringing home his baby sister.
That night, I returned home from a quick adjustment at the chiropractor to find my two boys having a ninja style dance party in the living room. I watched him giggle and concentrate ever-so-seriously on his dance moves and I felt better. Our boy is going to be just fine.
And so is his mama.