The following conversation took place at bedtime. Both boys were already tucked into their bunk beds, story read, lights out, and waiting for night night song. It came out of the blue, like these conversations always do.
Sam: Mom, can I see a picture of my brothers and sister?
Me: (hesitant, since lights were already out, but considering that he has never asked before I oblige) Sure. (Hand him the picture which is in a frame right across from his bed on a shelf.)
Marcel: Who is Sammy’s brother?
Sam: I have three brothers Marcel, and a sister.
Marcel: Can I see?
Sam: (handing the picture to me to hand to Marcel in the bottom bunk) Yes. But just for a minute they are my brothers and sister, not yours.
Marcel (looking at the picture) Who are they?
Me: Those are Tea’s kids, (insert names here) who are Sam’s siblings too. They have the same first mommy as he does..
Marcel: Are you their Mommy?
Sam: NO! Tea is their mommy, and my mommy, and our mommy is our mommy too. But you only have one brother.
Marcel: I don’t want you to have these brothers and a sister without me! (Throws the picture on the bed.)
Me: You are Sammy’s only brother in our family, and his only younger brother. That is very special. And you are the only little brother that Sam is growing up with everyday. He loves you very much honey.
Marcel: Sammy I don’t want you to be looking at that picture anymore.(Kicking and thrashing at the sheets.) I am not your best friend today.
After talking it through a little more, and soothing the worry away, I realized that we are entering into a new world of family relationship dynamics and mysteries. Marcel needs lots of reassurance as Sam’s emerging understanding of his extended family stakes out new territory in his heart.
When I finally pulled the door shut, and heard the soft sound of snoring boys shortly there after, I just laughed to myself. This is not what I pictured night night was going to look like fifteen or so years ago, when the first images of children in my life began to surface. The brotherhood blue has a lot in store for our family, of that I am certain!