Saturday, October 30, 2010

Big Sister

Chloe wore her Big Sister shirt to daycare today. It's her favorite shirt, and she makes sure she reads it out to everyone she meets. But even when she's not wearing it, she makes sure everyone knows about her place in the family anyway. "I'm a big sister," she says. "Emily's my little sister."

Chloe's been finding it more difficult lately to lose so much of the time she's used to having with Mom. I think I've filled in relatively well, but though she likes being silly and goofy with Daddy, it's Mom's attention she's craving.

The last few days, Chloe's been telling me that Emily's my girl and that she's Mommy's girl. I'm not kidding, and I'd be lying if I didn't say it hurts a bit. But this is just her latest strategy for getting more time with Mom. When we go somewhere, she says, "Daddy, you put Emily in the car. Mommy puts me in the car." At night time it's, "Daddy, you take Emily so Mommy can get me ready for bed."

But what surprises me and makes me very proud is that Chloe is so good to Emily. She's smart. She knows darn well that Emily's needs are coming before hers right now, but she never seems to be angry with her. She's embraced Emily from the beginning. And as hard as it is for her to share her Mom with someone else, she's sincerely happy - no gleeful, to have a sister. All she wants to do is hold her, hug her, and kiss her. We have to watch that she doesn't smother Emily to death (or strangle her - she's fond of putting her hand around Emily's throat).

I can see how much Chloe longs to have someone in the family closer to her own age. She can't wait until Emily's a little older. It's funny, but Julie and I see more clearly now than we did before Emily came along what an only child might be missing. And I'm not making a judgment here. Life is full of trade-offs, and for every benefit there are drawbacks. Still, I'm glad these two will have each other to love, support and keep each other company - in childhood and in life.

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