Carolyn is my best friend. We are very close. I've had lots of friends, still do, but I've never felt like I had a "best friend." Someone that I could call no matter what, someone who could lean on me, someone I felt comfortable to bare my soul to, someone to do anything and everything with. Funny, because she's been right there since I was 5. But see, it wasn't always like that. We weren't very close growing up. There are 5 years between us. That's a big deal when you're a kid. One's learning to walk while the other plays dress up. One's learning to drive while the other is playing Barbies. The older we get, the more we seem to have in common, the more we relate to one another.
I always wondered how it would have been if Nathan had been the youngest, and Carolyn and I were less than 3 years apart. If we would have "found" each other sooner. But that was not the plan the universe had.
When I had Ainsley she became my whole world. When the thought of having another baby entered my mind, I always pictured another girl. A sister for my sweet baby. Then came Freddie. And when I again decided it was time for another baby, I still thought girl. How can you go through life without a sister? And there was Cohen. Seems the universe has other plans for Ainsley, ones that don't involve a sister.
Brothers...something I don't know a lot about. I remember a pesky little brother that defied my every word. I remember rolling around on the floor punching each other in the nose. I remember screaming matches and curses and throwing things. There was a lot of fighting between me and my brother. So I also wonder, what if Nathan had had a brother? Since every girl deserves a sister, doesn't every boy deserve a brother?
My set of brothers are new. They've only been brothers for 8 months, but already I see this crazy bond between them. All Freddie has to do is walk through Cohen's line of sight and Cohen is on cloud nine. Freddie is Cohen's favorite person, hands down.
Freddie sees Cohen and his whole demeanor can change in the blink of an eye. He can be crying and throwing a fit when Cohen laughs and the whole world is right again for Freddie.
It's hard to imagine them fighting or picking at each other. I'm not stupid, I know it will happen...but right now, they are just so in awe of one another. Cohen pulls Freddie's hair and Freddie just laughs. Freddie bonks Cohen in the head and makes him cry, Freddie cries with him.
This connection between them has surprised me. If you had asked me last spring how I envisioned things, I would have told you that Ainsley would be the little mom and Cohen would cling to her because she would want to help with him all the time. I would have said, Freddie's going to be jealous. He's mommy's baby and I think he's going to be upset when my attention is split.
I could not have been more wrong. Ainsley loves Cohen and she loves to help with him, but she is also very involved in her own play time and school and friends. I haven't seen one ounce of jealousy from Freddie. None. It has shocked me.
Not that long ago, I watched as my rough and tumble 3.5 year old gently held and kissed his baby brother. He stroked his hand and snuggled him close. He stared at his face and said "Cohen? Cohen? I love you Cohen." And I watched this little baby mesmerized as he pulled on Freddie's locks and giggled every time he heard his name come out of that little mouth.
I said to Clif, "Freddie just loves him so much. He's so gentle. I can't believe it sometimes." And Clif said, "That's his baby brother. That's a special thing."
And Clif would know. He is a big brother, with a baby brother.