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Nobody asked what you thought of the idea. Oh, there were a few polite questions, “How would you like a baby brother or sister?” But by the time those were asked, the outcome was already a given. And just when you were getting used to the idea, came the news that there were going to be two brothers. Granted, you weren’t nearly as surprised by the news as your mom and dad, but you were kind of new to the whole baby thing.

It got kind of crazy there for a while. Lots of shopping for another crib, another stroller, another car seat, and so very many diapers and extra clothes and way more stuffed animals.

Mom needed lots more hugs and really wanted you to be with her when you were watching TV.

You leaned up against her tummy and sang songs to the babies and read them lots of books so they would be smart when they were born and so they would know your voice and not be afraid.

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Both your big boy cousins were big brothers, but neither of them knew what to tell you about two babies. That wasn’t something either of them had experience with. But they told you to be ready for lots of crying and lots of pooping and that new babies were kind of boring because they can’t do anything.

Grandma told you God knows what He’s doing and must have known you were going to be a great help for your mom and dad or you wouldn’t have been chosen for this honor. She told you the babies were going to love you and they would watch you to learn how to do things and would be your best friends. She knows a lot because she’s been here a long time.

And she was right. Your old toy room had to be turned into your new bedroom, but that was OK because you got a big bed and still got to keep all your toys. The babies needed more space because there were two of them, and you had to be very quiet when you went through their room to get to the potty or to tell Mom and Dad good morning when the babies were still asleep. But sometimes they would wake up anyway and you could tell them good morning first, and they smiled at you.

The twins remember that you read to them and sang songs to them before they were even born, and they know that you love them. 

They like when you show them how to clap and sign when they want more food. You help Mom give them bottles and hug them. When they cry, you can dance and make silly faces and they laugh at you. Nobody else can do that. Nobody. Because God made you their big brother.

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Now, when Mom or Dad needs help, you’re there for them. When the babies want your tiny LEGOs, you get them their big ones and play with them for a while. You show them how to make cars race across the floor and play peek-a-boo when one of them is sad. They like to dance with you and learned to walk holding your hands.  When they have to try a new food, they watch to see if you eat it first, then they put it into their mouths, too. If you don’t like it, they push it down onto the floor for your dog, Lola. She eats anything.

You know how to protect them and make sure they don’t go into your room where there are little toys that could hurt them. 

But when they cry because they miss you and look under your door, you slide a piece of mail under the door for them and talk to them so they know you’re still there and you are never going to leave them.

Because you’re their big brother and you will always be there for them.

Even when they’re stinky, even when they’re crabby, even when they accidentally throw something at you or bite you with their new teeth. They watch you hit the baseball and run the bases and love when you color pictures for them and make towers of blocks for them to knock down.

God knew you would be great at this job. He doesn’t make mistakes.

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Vicki Bahr

I'm a mother of four, grandmother of nine, wife of John for fifty years, an incurable optimist, word lover, and story sharer. I've worked and played at many careers, from proofreader to preschool teacher, businesswoman to human interest newspaper columnist to medical records clerk. Each path has afforded me the opportunity to appreciate the warmth of humanity and to hopefully spread a lifetime of smiles, empathy, and God's inspiration along the way. My life continues to be one of delight. With experience comes understanding, with understanding comes peace.

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