Ethan, my 10-year-old stepson, lives with us 50 percent of the time. When he found out he was no longer going to be an only child at our house, he broke down into tears, saying things like, “I’m just so surprised,” and “I didn’t know, I just don’t know what to think!” As the pregnancy wore on the thought of having a younger sibling at our house seemed to grow on him. As he warmed up to the idea, he even began talking to and reading stories to his soon-to-be brother while he was still in my belly.
When the baby came, Ethan was the first to hold the baby after my husband, Geoff, and I. It must have been an instant connection. On our second night at the hospital, Ethan decided he wanted to spend the night there with us. When we woke up in the morning, Geoff had to go to work and had planned on dropping Ethan off at child care. They were in the middle of their summer program at his child care center, and it was Magic Castle Day. Ethan has always loved Magic Castle and this particular field trip is always one of his favorites! However, that morning when he woke up, he said, “I think it would be best if stayed here and spent time with my new little brother.” With that, Geoff headed to work for a few hours and I was able to witness Ethan and Bryce’s bond beginning to develop. Every chance he got he was singing, talking, smiling, holding and just enjoying the moments with his new little brother.
Now, as Bryce gets older and is beginning to express his feelings more clearly, it is obvious that he adores his older brother. The smile that spreads across their faces when they see each other melts my heart. Ethan spends time everyday playing with and talking with his little brother, no matter how busy his schedule is. In the morning, he loves being the first one in Bryce’s room to get him up and greet him good morning! Honestly, I was worried that their age difference would lead to disconnect and animosity, and them not ever sharing that sibling connection that my own brother (only a year-and-a-half younger than me) and I shared as we were growing up. Ethan and Bryce have proven me wrong, though, and I couldn’t be happier about that! I’m excited to see their relationship blossom through the years.