As I mix Sadie’s bottle
to bring an end to this June day,
that wanted to rain but didn’t,
the day to which she cannot bear to bid farewell,
she and Daddy head out the back door—slap!
to see if the swing will soothe her.
Then down skips Eli, preparing for bed,
who must kiss his sister good night.
This boy who ruled our world for seven years
with no desire to share his throne,
who dreaded the arrival of a small competitor.
“Leggo my Lego!” would be his constant refrain,
and, “Why couldn’t it be a brother, at least?”
But as soon as she came off the plane,
he hugged her and would not let go,
despite her cries.
And I saw that,
just as a first child makes you love your spouse more
for the father he has become,
so this experience is made richer by sharing it
with a new big brother,
who now seeks to delay bed
by hopping on a swing,
and with his body (suddenly so long and lean)
showing his timid companion how it’s done.
Laughing, he looks back at her
in her cocoon
to see if she laughs, too.
though pajamas await and darkness falls,
I cannot bring myself
to call them in.