I looked at Koa just now, and I saw something.
I was putting him down for his nap, and he was swaddled up, his little arms pinned to his sides, his sweet head poking out from his baby blue burrito body. He looked at me just before he fell asleep in his Moses basket, and he smiled, and I saw him.
And he was not Adlai.
He is almost four months old, and for almost four months, honestly, he has looked to me like a carbon copy of the baby I nursed 2-and-a-half years ago. I have called him Adlai by mistake several times (and I’m sure I’ll do it hundreds of times over the next 50 years, if God lets us all live that long), because he reminds me of his brother.
But when I saw him just now, when he smiled at me with his blue eyes and his cheeks made rosy by either the warm sun or growing teeth, he was Koa David. Not a smaller version of his brother, any more than I am a younger (certainly not smaller) version of my big sister.
What I glimpsed just now is the man he will be when I know him, when I’ve seen his best and his worst and everything in between, and when I have to let him go because he has things to be getting on with: maybe a girl to marry or a plane to board.
Whatever that thing is, it will be different from his brother’s. And just as his eyes are different from Adlai’s and I see that now, so is his heart. He is my bold and courageous one, and I can’t wait to know him.