It seems odd to me, sometimes, when I look at my youngest and realize that he’s been with us for over two years. It was so long that we tried and tried, and then cried, that to see him now often seems a miracle. At two plus a few, his vocabulary is exploding. In the last few months he’s taken to calling himself Baby. As in, “Baby’s up!” when he wakes and “Baby’s alright!” when he falls. He even introduces himself to Baby, which often confuses my neighbors and others who know his name. He politely pretends not to notice and pushes off on his scooter. “Baby ride!”
I had thought that, as he grew, it would be a do-over from the youngest years with my Older. A time for me to reminisce, remember those things I had not been able to capture in pictures. In reality, this rarely happens. The moments with Baby, while they somewhat overlap the experiences of his brother, are so different as to be largely unrecognizable. I suppose that should not be surprising. They are separate people, despite the stark similarities in their appearance. But it has taken my brain quite awhile to figure this out, come to this truth. I consider myself fortunate that it has chosen this time to do so. Baby is inquisitive and exacting in ways his brother never was at that age. We have enjoyed many hours together, building elaborate block cities, pretend playing with action figures and dinosaurs, creating a toad paradise with rocks in my garden. Had I continued to wait for the days of deja vu to kick in, I would have missed this, all of it.
There may be a day when my boys are more similar than they are different. But I hope not.