Our son, Jordan, liked to draw from the moment he could hold a crayon or pencil. He especially enjoyed drawing pictures of our family. My husband, Ed, would scoop him up onto his lap and cuddle him while Jordan excitedly told us about what he had drawn.
One day, 3-year-old Jordan started to draw an extra, tiny figure. We asked him to tell us about it. He casually said, “Oh, that’s my baby brother.” My husband and I looked at each other. We were blessed to have had Jordan against all medical odds, but doctors told us we would not be able to have more children.
Every time Jordan drew our family, he kept including the little figure, calling it his baby brother. We decided to gently explain. Ed said, “Mommy’s tummy has a boo-boo. A little baby brother cannot grow in her tummy.” He looked at us with big, thinking eyes, paused and then with determination said, “I AM going to have a baby brother from mommy’s tummy.”
A few weeks later, I woke up feeling queasy. The doctor confirmed I was pregnant. Ed and I were so happy. We told Jordan, “We have a surprise for you. Mommy has a baby in her tummy. He said, “I KNOW. I told YOU. It’s a BOY, not a girl. He will be my best friend like you and mommy are.”
Months later, we had a baby boy. In the hospital, Jordan held Sean for the first time. Jordan said, “Don’t be afraid. I’m your big brother. I will take care of you. I will teach you everything you need to know. We will be best friends.”
Our sons have always been and still are best friends.
Leonor “Leo” and Ed Rivera were members of the local Worldwide Marriage Encounter community for 32 of their 34 years of marriage until Ed unexpectedly died of a genetic heart defect on Aug. 1, 2020.
To read more of Leo and Ed’s blogs, visit https://catholiccourier.com/viewpoints/blogs/to-have-and-to-hold.