Forgive the braying. I'm a grandpa, and when it comes to grandkids, everyone of us, I think, is as much a jackass as I am. But, check this out. If you look closely at the little guy above, you can tell he's trying to see. He's barely three hours old, but he's trying to spot something around him that'll give him a reading on where on earth he is. He's not quite sure of what's up and what's down, but he's already trying to find his way.
You want to know how things are going?--here's the score. This little guy's grandma is in love. His mom is doing very well. Dad holds his new son dearly, peacock-proud. His big sister, who's nine, is thrilled. But his brother isn't quite sure what's on his plate.
He came into the room on Friday, late afternoon, walked up to this brand new baby lying there beside his mother, turned around just as quickly, and walked away, as if he'd seen enough. Something in him recognized, after a fashion, that while he'd gained a brother, he'd lost a place. It'll take him awhile to understand what it is he feels, I’m sure, but he knows he’s no longer the baby. He’s always been more cuddily than his sister, but now there's less time and room for all of that. Now he's only a middle kid.
So I got to thinking. The only way to understand what was happening in his little heart is to say he’s growing up. That phrase always feels a little bittersweet because it usually suggests that someone's being tossed from some kind of garden. Life is never going to be the same for the baby's big brother because now he's going to be one--a big brother. He’s going to have to learn to do with less. He’s going to have to grow up a little.
But that’s okay, too. And it's in the shape of things. To say he's growing up doesn't necessarily suggest that all of life's joy is in the rearview mirror. He’s just a bit more responsible for finding it himself. It’s not going to be sumptuously served up anymore; his baby brother gets that delight. Big brother is, more and more, going to have to fend for himself.
Check out those eyes, if you can see 'em. They're trying to figure out what's up. Really, both of the boys--both the brothers--are looking around right now, trying to determine who they are and what they're up to. But then so is Mom and Dad and Grandpa and Grandma.
For all of us, it's a new world once again. Ain't one of us who isn't--growing up, that is.