Love is Patient, Love is Kind

Trent just amazes me every day. Actually all my kids do. I’ve mentioned before that Trent is very passionate; Nate and I talk about it all the time. When he’s mad everyone around knows about it, but when he’s happy it’s as if the sun will never stop shining again. When he gives he gives everything.

Like many kids do, Trent had a hard time when his brother Atticus was born. He always had a hard time sharing; Nick is older and isn’t around every day, so Trent never minds him, and in fact looks forward to giving Nick his everything. Atticus, however, was a different story. Sure he was cute when he was born, but for Trent having a baby around got old fast. Don’t get me wrong, Trent never seemed to strongly dislike his new brother, he just got frustrated by him easily. And often.

Trent nursed until he was just over 2 1/2, when I found out I was pregnant with Atticus. I was so worried about how Trent would react to someone else taking over that territory that had previously been only his and mine. Oddly enough Trent was totally done with it and in fact even thought it was cute. When Atticus cried it was the first thing Trent suggested. “Mommy, Atticus is crying. He needs boob.”

What Trent did have trouble with was Atticus taking all of the attention that had previously been focused on him, and once Atticus grew a few months older Trent no longer thought it was cute when we would hand Atticus a toy. “No, that’s my baby book.” Or “Hey, baby Atticus, give me back that ball!” While the items in question were often things Trent hadn’t cared about in months, he didn’t want his baby brother to have anything to do with things that were his. Old baby toys suddenly became valuable in a way they really hadn’t ever been to this boy.

When Trent got angry at Atticus it hurt me. I’d never felt that kind of hurt before, and I remembered something my mother would tell my sister Rebecca and I when she’d had it with our arguing. “One day you’ll need your sister.” I brushed her comment off until her own older sister passed early in their lives. I’ve since come to appreciate my own sister enough that, while we still don’t always get along, I always want, love, and need her.

In the past 4-6 months Trent has developed a lot of patience with Baby Atticus. One afternoon Nate heard Atticus crying from his crib, having woken from his nap. When he got to the doorway of the nursery he saw Trent, who was quietly calming Atticus, unaware that he had an audience. “Shh. It’s ok Baby Brother.” When Nate made his presence known, however, Trent ran away saying, “Be quiet, Baby!” When Trent realized he could pick Atticus up and carry him he became slightly more tolerant. He’d carry him over to the toy box so they could pick out a toy together. Slowly but surely he’s come around.

It isn’t unusual these days for Trent to suddenly ask, “Hey, where’s Baby Atticus?” I’ll tell him he’s taking a nap and Trent will request that I get him up so they can play together. When Atticus cries Trent no longer tells asks us to make the baby be quiet because he’s bothering him; now he wants us to fix the problem so his brother won’t be sad anymore. Atticus will do something silly and Trent says, “Look at Baby Atticus!” Or my favorite: when we pretend to nibble on Atty Trent exclaims “Don’t hurt my baby brother!”

Tonight at the dinner table all three boys sat with me and ate supper. Nick and Trent had personal pizzas, while Atticus had fruit and cereal. Atticus loves the pizza crusts. Nick eats his, but Trent doesn’t. Atticus pointed to Trent’s crust and politely requested the leftovers with his Neanderthal-like grunt. “No, they’re mine!” Trent said he wasn’t going to eat the crusts, but that he didn’t want Atticus to, either. Nick grinned at me and said, “Trent, can I have a crust?” Trent happily passed one over. A few minutes later Nick gave it to Atticus. While some things never change all my boys were happy. They love each other and take care of each other, and that’s all that matters to me.



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