From the beginning of Noah's arrival, Austin made sure we did not forget about him.
We tried very hard to prepare him for being a big brother, complete with books and lots of talks, even a class at the hospital. However, the week Noah came home and all the visitors showed up, we must've not paid him the attention Austin felt he deserved. Austin climbed up onto the coffee table and very loudly exclaimed, "Hey! Don't forget about me!"
As the boys grew older it was a common joke for them to pick on each other about which child we loved more. If Noah got a bigger piece of cake or I let him go first, Austin would say, "Yeah, yeah. I know you like him more!"
We even found a shirt for Noah that said "Mom likes me best" and it got a few chuckles out of Austin when I brought it home. Noah certainly loved wearing and rubbing it in, as if the shirt proved something.
Sometimes I think Austin was a little more serious than joking when he'd comment. He was of course the oldest and Noah being the baby did get away with more. If Noah didn't get the punishment Austin felt the crime deserved, he used that excuse. And of course, when brothers fought, as all do, he'd say the famous line.
I do hope though that all in all he was kidding. It would break my heart, more than it already is with him gone, to think that on some level he really thought that to be true. As a mother, I don't know how you could pick between your children to which you loved more. The love I had for my boys was even but very different. I loved them individually for who they were and I was connected to both in other ways, such as Austin being my first and Noah being the baby.
I was probably harder on Austin because I was learning how to be a parent with him. If anything, he taught me how to be a better mom. Noah just lucked out coming along last.
But the bond that Austin and I had was unique. He was my first and that put a special hold on my heart. He was the first movement I ever felt, the first heartbeat I heard. The first time I heard the word "Mama" it came from him. Everything I experienced as a mom for the first time was with Austin. Because of that I loved him in a very special way.
And I always will.