I talked to the baby when he was in Mommy’s belly. He would kick and I would giggle. “Hello, Baby!”
One day I sang, “Twinkle, twinkle, little star. Come and show me who you are.” Mommy laughed and Baby kicked.
Day after day, I waited for him. Mommy said, “You don’t know if the baby is a brother or sister.”
I smiled. Mommy didn’t know everything then but I knew. “He is wanting to come see me. That’s why he kicks so much.”
Mommy smiled. “We’ll see.”
One day we did see. Mommy said, “It’s too soon.” She cried as Daddy helped her into the car and Grammy stayed home with me.
I wanted to go with Mommy but Grammy said, “No, your mommy and daddy will bring the baby home.” But she cried.
I was scared. When grown-ups cry it means nothing good is happening. I talked to the baby and he could hear me even though he was in Mommy’s belly far away. Grammy said they were at the hospital. I don’t know how far away it was but it must be far. I could barely hear the baby.
A long time later that night, Grammy tucked me in bed and said, “Your daddy called and your Mommy is doing well.”
“And the baby,” I asked. “Is he okay?”
“As well as can be expected.”
“What is expected?”
Grammy kissed me and said, “It’s the way things are. The doctor said we will know tomorrow. The sooner you go to sleep the sooner tomorrow will be here.”
Tomorrow came and still no baby. Then another day and another for many days. Finally one day, Grammy said, “Your Mommy, Daddy and your baby brother are coming home.”
I sat on the front porch waiting for my brother to come home. It was hours and hours before I saw Daddy’s blue and white car turn the corner onto our street. I hollered, “Grammy they are coming! They are coming!”
Grammy came out to the front porch, wiping her hands on her big white apron. She was smiling but had a funny look on her face. She put her hand on my shoulder. “He’s going to be so tiny you won’t believe it, Amy. You’ll have to be gentle and careful.”
I wanted to race to the car but Grammy held me back. “Just wait.”
I was tired of waiting. I’d waited forever!
Finally when Mommy and Daddy got out of the car and we all went inside, and Mommy sat in the rocking chair and Daddy fussed about me not getting too close to the baby and Grammy saying, “let her alone,” and Mommy smiling saying, “It’s fine. Come here Amy and see your brother Bobby.”
Whew! What a relief it was to see him. Mommy said I couldn’t hold him yet because he was too little but I could talk to him and hold his hand. I touched his hand and he grabbed my finger. I smiled and said, “Hi, Bobby. I’m so glad you finally came home.”
He looked at me with big round eyes and didn’t say anything. I said, “Why isn’t he talking?”
Mommy said, “He’s too little.”
I was confused, Bobby and I had been talking for a long, long time. Then his voice in my head said, “I’m here.”
I smiled and said, “I love you, Bobby.”
His voice in my head said, “I love you too.”
I watched amazed as Mommy unbuttoned her blouse and opened her bra. She had such big tits and Bobby wanted them in his mouth! “What are you doing?” I asked Mommy.
She smiled, “I’m feeding Bobby.”
I didn’t understand why she didn’t just give him some gravy and biscuits if he was hungry. Grammy said, “Mommy’s always feed their babies this way. It’s just until he is big enough to eat the food you eat.”
I nodded and pretended to understand.
Over time, Bobby began to get bigger. The bigger he got the more he cried. Mommy would sometimes cry too. But I could talk to Bobby and he would be quiet. Sometimes he told my head, “my tummy hurts” and sometimes he told my head, “my bottom hurts” and sometimes he cried and cried and didn’t say anything in my head. But, when I talked with him and held his hand he said he felt better.
It seemed like forever before he grew up enough to walk and talk out loud and not just in my head. By the time I went to first grade school, he was running and playing and shouting all the time. He liked to climb trees just like I did and we told each other stories we made up in our heads.
Mommy’s belly got big again and in a lot of days and weeks, she and Daddy came home with another baby sister. I had not been talking with her and she didn’t want much to do with me. I went to school and learned to read stories not just tell them.
As night I would read my storybooks to Bobby. One night he said, “Someday I’ll read stories too.”
I nodded, “Yes you will. Someday I’ll write stories.”
He laughed. “Maybe I’ll read your stories.”
At night, we laid in our beds talking quietly. Bobby wanted to hear more stories and I made up stories and told them to him until he went to sleep.
Now, Bobby is grown and so am I. He doesn’t want to hear my stories anymore. He doesn’t want to talk with anyone we used to love. He grew up and hated Daddy and said Mommy wasn’t right in the mind.
Maybe. But maybe she was quiet because saying too much is a way to be hurt.
Bobby went his way without me. He said, “You don’t have anything to say I want to hear any more.”
Now, who will listen to my voice?