A Letter to My Oldest (On the Baby’s 1st Birthday)

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Ashley Fisher Photography

Sweet girl,
This time last year we were anxiously awaiting the arrival of your baby brother. Up to that point in your little life, you had been the center of our world. You and I spent every day together- just the two of us, and you had your dad and I wrapped around your little finger since you came into the world 3-and a half years earlier.
When your brother was born, it shook your world. You weren’t thrilled that he wasn’t the little sister you had requested, and you didn’t have that instant sibling bond I had wished for you. You didn’t act out. You weren’t hurtful or mean, but it was a tough adjustment for you. You weren’t angry, but you were…Confused. Unsettled. Upset. I’m not even sure you liked your new baby at first.
After only a few weeks, though, your heart softened to him. His first smiles were prompted by you. He watched your every movement. You were (and are) his favorite person.  His love for you was completely contagious, and I now have the privilege of watching the magic that is the love the two of you share.  You have learned that a new baby means the love in our family is multiplied, not divided.  You have grown so much in your first year of big sisterhood, not just in inches, but SO much on the inside!

You have shown him love every time you play peekaboo over and over in the back seat to help keep him happy in the car.

You have shown him patience every time you have waited for me to finish feeding him or changing his diaper before I could respond to your needs.

You have shown him empathy as you cried for him when he had to get a shot.

You have shown him gentleness as you carefully held him with two hands and 10,000 pillows.

You have shown him selflessness as you shared your toys and, more recently, your goldfish (which I know are very precious to you).  Hardest of all, you have learned to share our attention.

You have shown him encouragement as you celebrated his accomplishments, from first foods and first words to learning to sit up, crawl and stand on his own

You have shown self control when you respond calmly after he has knocked over your block castles.

You have shown him joy and solicited more baby belly laughs than anyone else can with your original dance moves, funny noises, and silly songs.

You have shown him forgiveness when he smacks your glasses off your face or pulls your pony tail.

You have, seemingly overnight, gone from being the baby to being the big girl. But really, that’s not quite true. You might not be the youngest, but you are definitely still my baby. You are still my best girl. I will snuggle you up in my arms at the end of the day for as long as you’ll let me. I will always beam with pride when I see you accomplishing your goals. I will carry you up the stairs to bed for as long as I can. You will always be the little soul who made me a mother, and I will always love you with a bond unique to only us. You were my first baby love. You will always be my baby.

As you finish up this first year of big sisterhood, I want you to know that it gets easier. Your brother will play more and cry less. He will be able to do more fun things. He’ll be able to talk to you and be your partner in knock knock jokes. He will need me less, and he’ll be able to start developing the characteristics you have shown him in himself. Things will even out. They may not always seem equal, but I promise to always try to be fair.

I’m so thankful for you. I’m so thankful for the example you are to him, and I’m so thankful for the joy you both have in each other. I’m so thankful that our he has a big sister like you!

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I know this year was different, and you’ve had to grow up quickly and in more ways over the past year than you ever have before, but I want you to know that I think you have done it beautifully.  It is so special to have someone to share your childhood with as you grow up together. I know. Because I’m the big sister, too.
I Love You,
Mama

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