One of my first memories with you is playing tea in our little “house” that was a small cubby space in a hallway. I remember the dolls laying on the floor by our sides and the little plates and teacups that held our feasts.
I can almost hear the childish whispers and giggles as we would lay side by side in our room at night under the comforter of pastel hearts. Like recalling a dream, I can still see our stuffed animals, the handmade play kitchen, and the lavender walls of the room we shared.
Time passed and, as we grew, the three years between us seemed to create a chasm that separated us. In my mind, I was “mature” and “grown up” compared to my little sister. In reality, I was stuck up and often mean to the little girl who wanted to play with me.
Somewhere along the way, and I’m not sure when or how it happened, we became equals and friends. We’ve shared movie nights, large pizzas, heartbreaks, silliness, girls nights watching our favorite plays, Skype workouts, singing off key to the Beach Boys, dreams and hopes. We shed tears of joy during our weddings. We have grieved the distance between us during moves. We have a continual countdown of when we will be together again.
Now we are sharing something new. You, little sister, will soon be welcoming your first child into the world. I was so hopeful that you and Johnathon would have a girl. Yes, part of my hope was selfish (can you blame this boy-mom), but there was more to it. As the older sibling, I took many “firsts” from you. It brings so much happiness to me to know that you will bear the first granddaughter in our family! She already holds such a special place in our hearts.
It’s been surreal to see you become, as dad would say, “great with child.” You are beautiful!
Over the years, you often expressed that you didn’t want to have children. I laughed at that because I have watched you with my sons. Could you be more giving and loving towards them? “You have the babies, Ash. I will love them and send them home.” Then Johnathon came along. You told me one day, “After watching him with kids, I wouldn’t mind having babies with him.”
Maybe you wonder if you’re cut out to be a mom. Perhaps you are scared at the thought of leaving the security of the hospital after birth. You need not worry. You are already a wonderful mother.
I saw it when you would gently caress your belly when we were together. I hear it every time you talk about her. You so lovingly dreamed up and created a warm, inviting room for your daughter. I won’t forget your beaming face, hands clasped together under your chin in glee, as you stood in the newly assembled nursery. The memory of your excited expression as you placed my hand on your belly, so I could feel your daughter’s strong kicks, is one I will cherish for a lifetime.
There will be hard times as a mom. There will be tears of frustration and fatigue during nights that won’t seem to end. You may sometimes feel like you can’t do this mommy business. You will experience epic “mommy-fails.” There will be stories you will learn to laugh at… later. We have all been there. We will support and surround as you experience how challenges make the the joys that much better.
There will be SO much joy! You will cherish the warmth of her little body nestled up against yours when she is born. You will marvel over the coos. Your heart will burst the first time she smiles at you. You will cheer her on as she learns to crawl and wonder where the time went as you watch her run. You will watch her grow, learn, explore, and experience.
As time quickly passes, remember this in the good and the bad times… it is a season. Tuck away each sweet memory in your heart. Hold your daughter close. Kiss her sweet cheeks often.
As for us, little sister, our tea party days are long past. Petite porcelain kettles and teacups are wrapped in a box down in my basement. Someday, when the time is right, I will give them to your daughter. The three of us will sit close together, dolls laying on the floor by our sides, playing pretend. Only, it won’t really be pretend for us anymore. Dreams came true on the days we became mothers.
How thankful I am to share this with you!
With all of my heart,
Your sister. Your friend.