So in a family of three boys being the littlest is not always easy. The new passion around here is basketball. It is basketball that I have never seen my boys play before. They are bigger, faster and much more intense and all the boys from our cal-de-sac are quick to join in. Baby “O” as we used to call him is now 5.5 but he is the youngest little dude on the court and it is not easy when the big guys pass the ball over and around him because they are serious about their points. Now it is not as if Owen is lacking in the “other things to do” department but many days lately he still chooses “playing with the guys” over anything else. He does not even like to go to his friend’s house because being a part of whatever his brothers are doing is his favorite option.
Today I watched the boys playing with loud calling and intense movements. I wondered how long Owen would last. Within minutes of my starting another task Owen drifts in all downtrodden and somber. “Nobody will pass to me Mom. Nobody. They think I can’t shoot the ball and when I try they run right up to me and slam it out of my hands.” Tears begin to roll and he throws himself on the floor as he whines, “You just don’t know what it is like to be the littlest. It is so hard and nobody will play with me.” He then begins rolling around in pure sadness and I am finding no words to console him. He is nearly alseep with a dirty face of dried tears when I remind him that he will not always be the littlest. “Soon Owen your sister will arrive and she will be the littlest. You will be her big brother who she will want to play with.” He stops his rolling and his crying. He gets right up and heads back outside.
I am in awe of his courage and his tenacity.
I do find it amusing that even though Owen tends to find ways to get his digs in where his brothers are concerned, I find that more and more he is using the badge of “littlest brother” to argue many points. Earlier this week he was very angry with Hayden, his brother four years his senior, who had knocked a ball out of his hand. He immediately started to wail, “Mom you have to talk to him. I am the littlest and he is so mean to me.” Now at this point Owen could truly win an academy award when middle brother, Carter, leans over and says, “Owen you will not always be the littlest. Remember buddy we are going to have a sister and you will be her older brother and she will be the youngest.” Carter is so precious in his quiet strength and deep down I find that this sweet baby coming our way is often on his mind. Owen settles down to a dull roar and seems content to know that another baby will be coming up behind. Their sweet and subtle thoughts on having a sister make our hearts smile and each time my fears and my impatience creep in there is yet another reminder of God’s hand in all of the details. We wait and prepare and prepare and wait. We are preparing our hearts and the hearts of our eager children.