For The Love of Cousins
I’ve written very publicly about my struggle with whether or not to have a second child, and when. My son recently turned 4 — meaning we passed the point where a second sibling would ever be a close-in-age playmate, and also meaning that he’s very aware of the fact that he doesn’t have a sibling.
And that he wants one, desperately.
Specifically he wants “a brother, a sister, a dog, a cat, and a bunny” — never more, never less. He even carries an imaginary brother/sister around with him (“but my brother said…”/”but my sister wants…”), and IT SHATTERS MY HEART INTO MILLIONS OF SHARP DAGGERS.
But lately he’s been settling into his only-child-ness, specifically because he’s taken an increased liking to his 7-week-old cousin, Benjamin, who he insists is his brother, not his cousin. We live very close to my sister and see baby Ben on a regular, if not daily, basis. And oh how I’m grateful for him to have a “brother” to look after — to hug and kiss and console (“don’t cry baby Ben, it’s OK”). To give him the unique brotherly love and peer bonding we haven’t been able to give him — that only a sibling (or cousin) can.
Here’s a look at Noah and his “brother,” Ben:
Look of Love
“He’s not my cousin, he’s my bruh-tha,” he insists.
I swear that Ben looks at Noah differently than anyone else. Even when he was first born, he’d perk up and stop crying whenever he heard Noah’s voice.
Big Brother, On Duty
At first Noah was timid around Ben (“I’ll hold him when he’s bigger”), but now he rubs his head, gives sweet kisses, and even tickles his belly.
Noah (who is in the early stage of reading) never says Benjamin’s name without sounding it out first. (“B-B-B-Ben.”)
Only the Beginning
We can only hope they continue to grow closer — because as of right now, they have each other.
All photos by Nikki Addimando/Picnik Photography