“Come on, Trissy.” instructed Aiden who regularly directs and encourages Tristen to follow us so that he won’t get “left behind.” It’s wonderful to see the protectiveness and love Aiden has for his younger siblings, especially his baby brother, “Trissy.”
I set down the car seat filled with a sweet baby and an array of various colors of pink and turned to start up the stairs. I heard Aiden telling Tristen to hurry up as he turned from the second to last step on the large set of hard, rigid cement steps.
From the time I was standing at the bottom and the proceeding moments, I can’t recall what I was doing but I remember feeling a calm quiet glazing over us and our surroundings and the sands of time’s perpetual hourglass seemed motionless as I saw my almost four-year-old son, Aiden, turn to his little brother and open his outstretched arms eliciting the promise of warmth, protection and love.
Since the day Tristen was born, he’s known that me, Jarod and Aiden are his family. He has known nothing else. We are the ones who will be there morning and night to comfort, to love and simply, be. Thus, when Tristen saw his brother’s invitation, he stretched his arms forward without even the slightest of hesitation and leaned forward negating any possibility that his brother would not catch him.
Aiden’s arms wrapped tightly around his little brother but the weight was too much to bear for his skinny three-year-old frame and they started to topple backwards. I can’t recall the moments directly after me being at the bottom of the stairs with Ali but somehow I managed to find myself near them a quarter of a second before Aiden’s body and Tristen’s head would have invariably smashed into the edge of the unforgiving cement.
I stretched my arms out and found their little bodies cradled in the safety of my embrace, safe from danger, safe from pain.
Today I saved them from the trouble their misguided well-intentions would have painfully caused them but that’s because I was right there, right next to them sensing the danger unfold, seeing the harmful consequences that might have occurred. I am thankful that I was there. I am grateful that I made it just in time.
But the unfortunate truth I have always known, the minute a second-line was drawn on all of their pregnancy tests, the moment my arms embraced each child into my life for the first time and each time the flickering light diminishes from every brightly colored birthday candle, is that time swifts forward in a mystical haze and one day I will find each of my babies reminiscent of their youth but different, wiser, older. My babies will grow and with a grievance in my soul I know that I, simply, won’t be there each and every time to save them.
However, I find solace and comfort in the hope, that when the time arises and one loses their steady-ground and falling seems the only possibility, they will be there for one another with open arms, loving devotion and the strength to carry the other.
“To the outside world we all grow old. But not to brothers and sisters. We know each other as we always were. We know each other’s hearts. We share private family jokes. We remember family feuds and secrets, family grief’s and joys. We live outside the touch of time.” ~Clara Ortega
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