As I slipped my age old pillows and bolsters into the new sheets that poh poh handmade for me, I suddenly came to notice how small the size was now compared to the time when I first held it in my hands which was about 12 years ago. Believe it or not, as much as I'm a teenager who gets influenced by the westerners and their lifestyles through the shows I watch and the things I read, I still am a typical Chinese boy who sometimes think that keeping the tradition and the culture alive is an important thing to do! Or maybe it's just the 'sentimental fool' part of me that's been keeping my baby bolsters and pillows all these while. Either way, I still love them lying around on my bed. I wouldn't go to the extend of "I can't live without them" cause I really CAN live without them!
So there I was, slipping them in, pondering about Edmund's birthday tomorrow. About him being 8. Time has passed by so quickly between us. Like my bolsters and pillows, he's slowly shedding off his baby sheets and growing up steadfastly. Looking back at time, I still remember clearly the day, about eight years ago, when I was hanging around the hospital all day long when mom was in the emergency room. I tapped my feet rythmically, sitting outside the ER looking across the floor, waiting patiently for the arrival of a new member to the family . Getting up most of the time to peek through the rectangular glass window, hoping to see something was what I could not control to do! The feeling was weird. Exciting. Afraid. Nervous. Hoping. I don't even know who this new person might be and yet, there I was, waiting for his arrival.
"I wonder how he's going to look like?"
"Would we become good friends?"
"What if I hate him?"
All sorts of questions ran through my immatured eight year old mind while I paced across the empty hall. I was sent home that night after visiting mom in her childbed. The doctor showed me the hearbeat of that unknown creature in mom's stomach. I was thrilled to feel it moving inside. Watching mom's expression of pain while we said goodbye was just as painful. Apparently, there were some complications and the baby wasn't in a hurry to come out. I left the hospital with Grace that night, feeling disappointed.
I was woken with the news that Edmund has arrived! Rushing down to the hospital with dad was one of the most happiest waiting time of my life. Mom was already in her ward and she was sleeping. We couldn't see the baby except for certain visiting hours when they'll be "displayed". Dad told us that we almost lost that creature when he's umbilical cord got entangled around his neck and his heartbeat got fainter and fainter by the minute. Mom was rushed to the ER and had an incision (I know I'm hopeless with medical terms) and thus the creature was saved and was brought to this world.
After that, I never thought his arrival/appearance into my life or OUR lives made such a huge difference. Today, he is still that same tiny little creature who almost couldn't make it to see the world that came out from mom's womb. He's alive and well. Annoying and irritating most of the time. Noisy and loud. Selfish and greedy. He's fun and he longs for fun. Lazy and very very manja. He's a quick learner yet ridiculously stubborn. Mom, dad and Grace said that he inherited most of my traits. "He's just exactly like you when you were at his age! Exactly alike!" mom always says. Admittedly, I can tell from all the nastiness of an 8 year old brat.
He's learning new things everyday, from the people around him. He copies my lines, steals me erasers, begs me to let him play games on the computer, screams and yells at me for upsetting him, hits me when I scold him and above all, he loves me. I can say he's a very very lucky boy. He has a loving family who loves him more than anything! being the youngest one certainly has given him a certain amount of power to have a final say or have it HIS way. Stamping his feet and screaming at the top of his voice while he "extracts" crocodile tears can easily show him off as a spoilt brat.
Today, that little creature eight years ago, is my brother whom I know by the name of Edmund. I love him as much as I love my other family members. He knows me as the stern and disciplined one. He knows that he has no other brother but me. I know he was the perfect Edmund all along. I knew we were going to be great brothers. Every step he takes, every time he falls, I'm there to watch over him and catch him. He's mistakes are always great lessons to be learnt. I'm there to show him that and also to learn myself. I'm priviledged and thankful to God that he gave me this precious gift when I was 8. Making me see myself once again through Edmund was God's plan after all. Realising my own mistakes as I watch his, I learn.
I'm honored to be his big brother. He calls me koko (brother in Hokkien) and I call him by (lose the ED) "mund". We've been living our lives together for the past eight years. I can't imgaine a life without him. Occasionally, I'll also bring to the awareness of other family members with, "If Edmund wasn't here...". I've learned to appreciate him the way he is. I've learned to accept his presence in my live. I've never been jealous of him (but he does get jealous when Grace or me gets mom's attenton). I believe that our brotherhood is strong (despite the yelling and the screaming and the I-hate-my-younger-brother routine). I know him throught and through. Character-wise and attitude-wise. I'm just one of the 4 potter he readily has to teach him new things in life.
He turns eight today and I'd like to wish him a big "Happy Birthday and may God bless you!"
I love my brother. Protect and guide him, I will!