These photographs are of a family. A growing family. With a new little baby brother who, for now, is named “Brother.” And he is lovingly and with no irony called by this name, or often “Little Brother.”
Little Brother was born to his proud parents and his proud sister, proudly and without hesitation, on their front porch. I kid you not. He knew he was coming, they knew he was coming, but he apparently decided that he was coming much sooner than they knew.
I think, that like most people, my reaction was that of surprise when they told me he hadn’t received a name yet, but then I quickly reminded myself that in many cultures, babies are not named right away as in our traditional American fashion, where most babies are even named before their birth. In fact, there is one culture (and please feel free to tell me which one, because I tend to remember the story but never the details) that gives their child a family name, and then let’s the child choose their own name at the age of five, with great fanfare & celebration. So, not that it truly matters, but I am fine with the name Little Brother. After awhile I found it soothing and so absolutely affectionate, that I couldn’t help but be drawn into the beauty of calling him by who he is, and not by what he was decided to be.
Aside from the subject about his name… spending time with this family was one of the highlights of my busy week. Mom & Dad are both singers; well, I mean, they both sing beautifully, as I found out when they were singing the loveliest lullabies to Little Brother, soft and melodic. And Ella, or Big Sister, as we can call her… was talkative and inquisitive and loving and so very girly, to whom everything seemed to have a grand purpose and life seemed a little more romantic when she was around.
“Our brothers and sisters are there with us from the dawn of our personal stories…”
~Susan Scarf Merrell