I remember that my parents were so careful to prepare me for you. They would tell me that you were coming, and told me stories about the importance of sharing. I read picture books that explained that older siblings shouldn’t be jealous when younger siblings receive more attention; babies need more care, after all. My mother took my hand and placed it on her swollen stomach, explaining gently that I would no longer be the only child in the family. I think they were terrified that I wouldn’t like you.
But when I saw you, there was no hesitation. No jealousy. I loved your little hands and feet, and the way you gurgled and smiled when I pulled faces. I loved your first babbling words and your first awkward steps. I loved the way you looked up to me, but also the way you were determined to form your own identity.
Our parents were so careful to prepare me for you. But when you finally arrived, it was like we’d known each other all our lives.