In this cover illustration, the big brother is teaching his little brother how to climb a tree. Also, Steve and I did not deserve the co-authorship, but Bini insisted.

Today, Bini sat down and wrote a book. It’s called “What brothers do best,” and yes, I’m preserving the sentence case of the title because I’M NOT GOING TO EDIT THIS BOOK.

Anyway, the book details how brothers help you eat, learn to ride a skateboard, get in the car and go to the gym. An interesting assortment, to be sure. Chosen and illustrated by Bini. I helped with the spelling, but it was from afar, as I did the dishes and other thrilling domestic tasks. I had no idea my baby was creating a masterpiece while I put away towels.

The book is made of stapled-together printer paper and the words sort of wind around the pages, but it’s … beautiful. Clutch-your-heart beautiful. We’re-doing-something-right beautiful. My son is beautiful. God, is he beautiful.

Page two of "What brothers do best:" They help you ride a skateboard.
Brothers also help you ride a skateboard.

Bini really wants to be a sibling, and he asks us over and over and over when it’s going to happen. We tell him the truth: It’s going to take a long time, but we’re willing to be patient. He sets aside toys and clothes for his little-brother-to-be. And now, this book.

“What brothers do best” drove home something that I’ve suspected over the last few days: My son is thinking about family. There’s lots of talk about it at school right now, because of the holidays. And in an effort to not screw up like Mother’s Day, we’ve been talking about it all. Birth parents, Thanksgiving, Ethiopia, feelings. Sometimes Bini’s face crumples and he cries for the family he doesn’t know, and sometimes he asks for cheese puffs. Today, he did this book.

As any parent knows, there are good days, bad days, and plenty of in-between days. I didn’t realize that today, on an average Monday in November, my son was going to blow me away with his thoughtfulness, his yearning, his sweetness, his love. After he read the story to his dad, he went over and added our names as co-authors. We tried to dissuade him, because we didn’t earn the honor. But he insisted. There’s something deep there that I should probably interpret, but I’m content not to just now. I’m content to feel like today was a really, really good day, and that we’re raising a really, really wonderful boy.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: