Saturday, July 8, 2006
I come from a family with two younger brothers. The only time I can remember wishing for a sister was when I was nine years old and my mom was pregnant with my brother. According to the ultrasound he was supposed to be a girl, and I was excited about that. We were waiting in the hospital waiting room and I'm told that when my dad came out to tell us HE was born I grumpily stated, "Jonathan (my other brother) always gets what he wants!". After that momentary disappointment I quickly grew to appreciate the joys and benefits of being the only girl. I never had to share my room, and my brother was never interested in getting into my stuff. All this to explain that I had very mixed feelings when my own ultrasound told me my second child was a girl.
Never having had a sister, I wasn't sure how I felt about having two girls. Most of my friends growing up who had sisters fought like crazy. They complained about having to share birthdays, rooms, possessions. And, for some crazy reason I've always been concerned about having one daughter that was really pretty and one that, well, wasn't. Shallow, I know, but I would feel so bad for both of them.
So, two girls. Sisters. Since my childhood I've met many girls who loved having sisters and are great friends with them, so I wasn't completely freaked out by the idea. However, Emily's lack of interest in the baby and her repeated requests for a dog instead of a baby sister did nothing to assuage my fears. She has on a couple of occasions talked excitedly about getting bunk beds or a swing set when her sister is older, but I think that's more interest in the possessions then in sharing them with Katrina.
And then last week, a breakthrough. I was upstairs getting ready for work and Katrina was downstairs secure in her bouncy seat. Emily appears at my side and says, in her inimitable emphatic way, "Mommy, I dragged my little chair over next to Katrina so I could keep her company, and she SMILED at me TWO times. And then she fell asleep." She was so happy and excited about it. Christoph got home a few minute later and she had to tell him all about it too. It was so cute. I went downstairs and there was her little chair snuggled up next to the bouncy chair and the little sister, sound asleep. Since then there have been other occasions she has shown appreciation for her little sister. We were traveling in the car last weekend and Katrina was crying. Emily started singing her a lullaby. After a few seconds Katrina stopped crying and went to sleep. Emily whispers to us from the backseat, "I was singing to her so she wouldn't be sad." The best was yesterday when I was getting ready for work. Katrina was in a hold-me mood and was crying quite angrily. Suddenly I see Emily go over to her and start singing the lullaby again. Then She says, "Do you like that Katrina-B? Why are you sad? Do you want your milk? Do you want your breastmilk from Mommy?" I couldn't help but crack-up. Maybe they will like each other after all.
As an aside, just to show God has a sense of humor, my two girls share the same birthday and look VERY similar to each other, even down to their blue eyes born of recessive genes. Of course I think they're both beautiful.