when we were in the new to each other stage, we talked of siblings (So we talked about moms and dads /About family pasts /Just getting to know where we came from~lyrics from Blue October's 18th Floor Balcony) and compared our threes: me, one of a set of triplet girls, he, the oldest of three sons. his world was foreign to me, brothers who tussled and punched out their love and how he took care of them just because they were his brothers. how he cares for them still, though values diverged long ago, beckoning 'tough love.'
and now we have four... all those "god bless her souls" in the produce aisle, the "4? oh my words" in the drive-through, and even his own opinion that he'd have been one revered roman senator back then.
when we had shea and our whole hearts swelled even as our world turned over, we couldn't see past our love for him, couldn't have known how that love swells with each growing belly. when connor came, it was "how will shea react?" when avery arrived, how would three interact?
with love, that's how.
shea's almost five and he loves his brothers big. he corrects, he bosses, and he's even been known to hit. but, oh, he tender-kisses owen, invites avery to play, and teaches connor how to do things. and connor loves in his own physical way--the smothering hugs and the hard intensity to be involved. and avery loves uninhibited by anything because he's had two to teach him what that is.
i walk by their room at night, see two boys tucked in to each other like dreams.
i am alone nursing owen on couch (my kingdom), and i hear giggles and tickles.
owen cries out, and three heads rush to shush, offer (not always) helpful advice (he's hungry, mama. he wants up, mama).
it's alchemy, this world of my sons. it's the turning of snakes and snails and puppy dog tails into the men who will always be there for one another.
(see? they can even share sometimes!)