When we had Sloan, we did not encounter much resistance from Rowan. He had adjusted to his role as a big brother almost immediately and it was clear their bond would be unshakable.
Sloan was Rowan’s other half. They idolized each other. Every morning, Rowan would follow me in to get Sloan up, a huge grin on his face as we would lean over the crib and say “Good morning sunshine!”, to Sloan’s sweet smile and glittering brown eyes. My days were spent watching them play together, filling our home with laughter and babble.
Then one fateful morning, as Rowan followed me into that room, our world would unravel. He witnessed trauma that day that no 3 year old should ever have to. Yet, as is his personality, Rowan was resilient. He has grieved as much as any of us, but he has also had this inherent ability to compartmentalize his grief, not allowing this immense loss to impede on his bond with his brother. And when Phoenix came along, Rowan’s bond with Sloan transformed.
It beautifully metamorphosed into appreciation and adoration for her, because of Sloan. He talks about his brother every day, sings songs about him to her, plays the same favorite games with her, insights the same smile and infectious giggle he was always able to draw out of his brother.
Rowan knows Phoenix is her own being, but he also knows that beautiful little pieces of Sloan are in her too, and not one person has ever had to tell him that.