But crazy things happen to your mind when you are pregnant. It’s not just hormones. No, hormones are the redheaded stepchild of pregnancy. Men might think all the weird pregnancy shit happens because of hormones, but they are incorrect. The fact that in one of my many third trimesters I had a massive case of the hots for a grown-up Ron Weasley? That was hormones. But the really weird pregnancy shit that goes down is completely mental.
Your mind forgets everything that happened when you were a child. All the things that you knew as absolute truth at the age of 9 go out the window when it’s your body having babies and not your mom’s body giving you siblings. And the first moment with my own kids that really struck a nerve was the moment I watched my children really interact and felt like I was reliving a part of my youth. Yeah, that part. The one that looks like The Hunger Games had a renegade love child with Lord of the Flies.
Silly me. I wasn’t giving them besties. In actuality, I was giving them sparring partners.
My brother was 3 years my junior, and I cannot remember a single moment when he wasn’t the most annoying human being on the planet. He was a cross between the meddling little brother in Can’t Buy Me Love and Fudge from the Judy Blume novels. Even when I would have a moment of weakness (Maybe this kid isn’t half bad. Maybe I’ll just give him a quick hug), letting my guard down always ended up being a huge mistake. Fool me once, shame on you. Handcuff me to my bed frame twice, shame on me.
My older sons are 5 years apart. I watch the way they interact, and it’s as if I’ve traveled back in time 30 years. They love each other because they are brothers, but they can barely sit in the same room together. They attempt to play, and it always ends in punches and tears, with the occasional dead leg. Sometimes it’s as if I can see my face etched into the pain and hurt demonstrated by my oldest son—the face of a boy who desperately wants to love his brother, but wishes his brother were someone else. Or I can see my baby brother’s face on my middle son—the face of a child who desperately wants to be big enough to be considered an equal, or at least a friend instead of the annoying little brother who won’t go away.
My brother and I are close now. Although we still have very different opinions on a multitude of topics, I know he would do anything for me. And I for him.
I hope and pray my boys will someday get to this place in their relationship. A place where they will call each other on the phone because they just want to hear their brother’s voice. Or meet up for drinks on the way home from work because they actually enjoy each other’s company. Or get together with their families for holidays, and vacations, and Sunday dinners because they can and because they want to.
If I can only keep them from killing each other in the meantime.