Big sister Grace switches between moments of impetuous affection and moments of loving concern and goodwill toward her baby sister.
I bite my tongue when really I want to scold, “Leave your sister alone!” or “Quit touching her!” I never say those things because I don’t want to discourage the overwhelming attachment she feels to her baby sister.
Sometimes, I make requests, “Please don’t kiss her when she’s sleeping,” or “She’s turning her head away from you. She needs some quiet time,” to remind Grace that Allie’s needs and wants are important, too.
I try to encourage Grace’s affection, never knowing whether the adoration or the aggression is her true, underlying feeling toward her new baby sister.
I wonder if I’ll ever shake the guilt I feel over the time and attention Allie takes away from Grace.
Then something like this happens, and I know for sure how Grace feels.
After dinner this evening, Allie laid in the bouncer, fighting sleep. Grace wanted to kiss her, but I asked Grace not to do anything that would keep the baby awake.
I’ll sing her a lullaby, Grace announced.
I was stunned by the song; I wrote down every word.
Allie, I will always love you because I am your big sister.
When you’re older, I’ll dance with you
and we’ll sing together.
I’ll always dance with you because I’m your big sister,
and I’ll always sing with you because I’m your big sister
and I love you.
Allie, when I’m old, I’ll give you whatever you want.
Whatever number I am, you’ll be less.
I’ll dance with you when I’m old.
I’ll give you cookies.
Don’t worry, my little sunshine. I’ll always love you!
I’ll love you forever and ever until I die.
And I’ll still love you then because I’ll be in heaven,
and I’ll pray for you every day when I wake up.
Please excuse me while I blow my nose and wipe my tears. It may take a few minutes for me to get myself together.
© 2011 – 2012, Tara Ziegmont. All rights reserved.