Favorite Brother

In the middle of the night
, I was yanked out of sleep by this guy as he grabbed me by the shoulders and shook me as hard as he could in the dark.

“Something happened to the baby,” he said.

We raced down the hall together, and just as I got to the door, I could hear the baby’s raspy breathing. And as I lifted him awake, it rattled him enough to produce that distinctive bark. At some point after his bedtime and now, the croup settled in.


We knew he had a little congestion, but now this, too. Ughhhh.

By this point, Jaz went to get his Dad from downstairs (where he was watching Netflix), and before long, we had quickly, but calmly implemented our “Croup Defense Action Plan” — move him to parents’ room, assume upright position, administer fever reducer, blast cold mist humidifier, etc.

The baby is fine. Croup can sound very scary at first, but it’s manageable, especially since we’ve been through it so often before.

As my heartbeat returned to a normal pattern, I realized that Jaz had slipped away and returned to bed on his own. As you may already know, this kid is a verrrry deep sleeper. He can snooze through his own severe asthma attack, and remain asleep during treatment. Early school mornings are not his favorite. Concerts, movies, his sisters’ music practice … none of it startles him if he’s napping.

So I can’t explain how it is that he heard his brother, and woke up enough to know to get me with a sense of urgency.

He was about to fall asleep again when I got to him to thank him for being such a good big brother and doing the right thing.

And he goes, “Just doin’ my job, Mom. He’s my favorite brother.”