Monday, February 24, 2014

Unlimited Love

Rahul, as I have mentioned often, is thrilled about the baby. However he does have his occasional moments of doubt. Mostly he is bolstered by the thought that this poor kid will need some looking after since I already seem to have washed my hands off it but there are times, like this afternoon when he was sniffly and tiring, when his excitement wavered slightly.

So today I addressed something I've been wanting to ever since the baby became a topic of conversation between us... rivalry. I'm well aware that any conversations now are purely abstract theory but thoughtlessly cruel remarks served to drive a wedge between my brother and me before I even outgrew my infancy, so sibling rivalry is something I take very seriously. Part of the reason I've been demanding isolation and privacy this time is because I wanted to have my child(ren) to myself, to be able to talk to Rahul freely about the changes ahead and prepare him as only I can.

We sat down on the mezzanine steps, he and I, and I told him, there are some silly people out there. They think love can be measured and added and subtracted. Whereas all sensible people know that each baby brings forth so much love when it arrives, these silly people think one needs to 'take' love away from earlier children to 'give' to the new child. It's an impossibly silly thought because love once given cannot be taken away, and in any case, each person has to be loved in their special way. So, the more the merrier, the more love there is to go around.

He started out listening very seriously to me and ended up rolling around in laughter at the thought of such silliness. Take love away indeed!

I don't plan to bring it up too often, but I worry about sending him away for the summer. My parents are sensitive to the damage such loose remarks cause, so hopefully it will be all right, but these are the times when I genuinely wish I could protect him from all the fools out there.

6 comments:

R's Mom said...

From what I have read about Rahul I dont think you should be worrying about it at all. My brother is 3.5 years elder to me and he still remembers seeing me looking like a small monkey wrapped in a red cloth in the hospital I was born, in Calcutta. He never had an iota of sibling rivalry because ma pa always told him that I was as much his as I was theirs and he still continues to (so bugging at times) look out for me :):)

Anonymous said...

You're wise to be aware of this! I still remember the hurt I felt when my brother was born, and various relatives made similar comments - considering that is all 40 years ago, and I share a very good relationship with my brother, the hurt really must have gone deep.

It took amma coming out strong and shooing away the vultures to restore me to eqanimity IIRC.

-Maith

dipali said...

I'm glad you put it across the way you did!

Mallika said...

very sensible of you Sue . Make sure you guard him from the do gooders , though !

Sandhya Menon said...

good one

Sue said...

R's Mom -- Your brother sounds very nice. :)

Maith -- Yes, it does go deep. I'm glad your mother managed to shoo the vultures away.

Dipali, Mallika -- I think it's worked. Sharing grandparents will be harder for him than sharing his father and me, I think.

Sandhya -- Thanks