Like any forty-month-old, Mbot is ambivalent about his little brother’s existence. Although I have assured him that my heart is so big that both of them are in it at the same time, he sometimes asks me why we have Gbot. I have told him, in answer to his questions, that before they were born, he and Gbot were stars. And I looked up in the sky and looked at all the stars, and picked him and Gbot to make our family complete.
I guess I could tell him the truth, but I don’t want to burden him yet with the knowledge of vaginas.
A few nights ago, we were driving home from Grandma’s after dinner and, in spite of a moon just two nights past full, the stars were bright in the sky. Mbot studied them out the car window. “Mom, I’m glad you picked me, but I wish you hadn’t picked Gbot,” he told me.
I assured him that our family wouldn’t be a family and that we’d all have sad hearts without Gbot. I reminded him that Gbot thinks Mbot is the coolest, funniest guy around.
How old will he be when he figures out that you don’t get to pick your children, or your siblings, or your parents? Or your teeth or your legs or your heart, for that matter. Sometimes your friends, but not always.
I am not sure about astrology, but upon becoming a mother, I have better understood the ages-old tendency to turn to stars for answers. As a parent, I thank my lucky stars that the questions start out with a lower level of difficulty.
And you certainly don’t always get to pick which questions to answer, do you?