We have been talking about your baby sister a lot this week, because we know she will be here very soon. In fact, as it’s now Thursday evening, chances are very good you’ll meet her within 48 hours!
This morning you remembered, very soon after waking up, that your sister is almost here. It was so awesome to see you grin with pure, delighted anticipation… your joy just makes everything more special and wonderful.
Also, it makes me ache to think of the joy we wish you could have had with your brother.
I really, really hope you’re going to be just as happy once she’s actually here. Right now, you know she’s going to be small, and we’re pretty sure she’ll be cute (you were a darn cute baby yourself, after all).
We’ve been trying to let you know that she won’t do much at first – she won’t be ready to play with you or learn the things you want to teach her. She might not be as exciting as you’re expecting. But I hope she fills you with love, and that this will make you happy.
I want you to know that I have treasured this summer with you. Even though I have often been tired, and have had to go to lots of appointments without you, it has meant a lot to me getting to spend time with you – just Mama and E. We’ve done a lot of fun things, although some of my favourite memories will be of just talking with you, getting insights into your fascinating young brain, without anyone else to distract us. I know those moments will not be as easy to come by when the baby is here.
Here is a little verbal snapshot of what life is like, the week before your big-brotherhood becomes active:
We’ve played a lot. Mostly with cars and ramps, but also with the new Play-Doh that Marcia gave you as a big-brother present, among other things. We’ve spent time at the park and in the sandbox. You’ve come with me to two appointments – one last ultrasound here in town, where you charmed the sonographer by being so, so well-behaved and telling her all about your Lego car (and during which it was estimated that your sister has already reached your birth weight – 8 lb 5 oz!), and one midwife appointment, where you asked if you could help and you held the Doppler speaker while we listened to the baby’s heart beating.
You are eating lots and growing lots. You have finally learned about dipping: you suddenly love to dip apple slices and carrots into peanut butter, having heretofore resisted ever dipping anything.
You have been loving “lawn mower rides”, i.e. taking walks with your pushable safari truck that talks and sings, getting its energy from the movement of its wheels. (You are so cute pushing that thing, in your earflap hat and running shoes, I almost can’t stand it.) It is still warm enough to enjoy bike riding, too, although yesterday you did have a fall that kisses didn’t fix right away.
You are enjoying the bright changing colours of the trees, but also looking forward already to the “pretty lights” of Christmas time – these have obviously stayed in your mind all year long.
You love counting right now, and want to count anything you see lined up. Thirty is your favourite number (which is about how high you can readily count – these days you even get all the teens in there most of the time). You are always speculating about thirty; for example, what things would you hold if you had 30 hands? Last night you apparently wondered aloud to Daddy what it would be like to have 30 noses. You figured, “I could smell everything… and there would be a lot of snot. And it would be hard to walk, because the bottoms of my feet would be made of noses.” !!!
You also ask a lot about adding, and writing numbers – what number is a 1 and a 9 next to each other, or how much is it if you have 2 and 3 of something. You have a whole bag of little foam numbers and letters, and you even like trying to sound out basic words and spell them – with help, of course. We know you’ll be more than ready for kindergarten next year.
You are so eager to learn, and so quick to pick things up – and freakishly observant. Daddy and I are constantly shaking our heads in amazement at the things you notice and figure out and verbalize. To be honest, it scares me a little bit. I’m not sure what I’ll do when your brain starts to do things mine isn’t capable of… but for now, I am just hoping we can challenge you enough to make sure you keep on learning, and enjoying it. That we can manage not to get in the way of you doing your thing.
Tonight, I read you your bedtime stories, and I sang you your lullaby, at your request. (We call it yours, even though it’s for you and your brother and sister.) I was glad you asked for it; I realized it would be the last time I would sing it to all of you in your three different places, separate but close together, as you were when I wrote it.
Your lovely great-Auntie CL wrote you a message this week, which I read to you, about how much we love you and will continue to love you, even when your sister is here, getting her own love from us.
I just wanted to add to that. A few days from now, it might seem like the love isn’t the same, or isn’t as much, because we will have to be spending a lot of time and attention on the baby.
But here’s the thing: we will always love you more than we even have words to express. You will always, always be our precious boy, our cherished firstborn. You are so special, so sweet and funny and smart. You are a wonderful little guy (or not-so-little – you insist on “little” or “big”, depending on your purposes – and have sometimes decided that you are actually “medium”). No matter how much we love your sister, no matter how different or similar she is to you, we love you with a love that is just yours, created just for you – and by you.
We know things are going to be very different, very soon. To tell you the truth, Daddy and I are a little nervous. We learned so much from you after you were born, but we are worried that we’ve forgotten a lot of things… and we know that parenting both of you together will be a whole new challenge. At this moment, it is totally surreal to think that we will have another entire, separate person in our family by the end of the weekend. But we know we will figure it out, and I’m sure you’re going to help us. You are a great helper.
We are incredibly glad to be going on this adventure with you, sweetie pie. I can’t wait for you to meet your sister.
(And I hope you’ll forgive us for not actually taking your suggestion to make her middle name “Angry Birds”.)