When I was pregnant with Jamie, I wanted a girl (this was before we knew the gender). I grew up with two sisters and had a close relationship with my mother, and I really, really, really wanted a girl. Once Jamie was born, however, I couldn't imagine having a girl. I loved having a boy in a way that I would never have predicted. When I was pregnant with Clare, I wanted another boy (again, before we knew the gender). I wanted Jamie to have a brother. Shawn has always been close to his older brother, Brian, and I wanted to watch that same relationship grow between Jamie and a brother. I would think of all the great stories Shawn would tell about him and Brian playing superheroes, building snow forts, and other fun boy stuff (and I choose to ignore the stories involving fire extinguishers and pots of boiling water). I often tease Shawn about being a "Mama's boy" and cutting the apron strings. Seriously, though, I would be thrilled if Jamie (and Simon for that matter) have half the love, admiration, and respect for me that Shawn has for his mother. The fact that Shawn talks to his mom almost daily, pops in to visit when he is in the area and gets a chance (she lives in another state), and has such a close relationship with her is one of the things I love about Shawn and hope to see that in my own children. Of course, instead of another boy, Clare was born. Again, I didn't care that I had originally wanted a second boy. I couldn't imagine anyone but Clare being our second child. Having a girl is so precious in a way completely different from having a boy. I love the mother-daughter relationship that is evident even though Clare is only two years old.
Now I have my second boy, and we have brothers in our family. Watching Jamie and Simon together is already so cute. Jamie talks to Simon, and Simon seeks him out with his eyes and listens wide-eyed and serious. Jamie is ready with the spit-up cloth when Simon needs it. He is ready with the teddy bear he bought for Simon when he thinks Simon wants to play. He is ready with a pacifier when Simon is fussy. Jamie spent a day with Shawn's mom last week, and when he returned home, he couldn't get enough of Simon - hugs and kisses galore. He helps Shawn bathe Simon and got a thrill a couple nights ago when he fed Simon his first bottle. Since then, he has begged me multiple times over the past two days to give Simon another bottle. (I am nursing, so we're just slowly starting to introduce a bottle of pumped milk to Simon.) Jamie takes his role of the big brother seriously and is already looking out for his little brother. I hope he always does.