Thursday, January 29, 2015


My oldest is hopelessly devoted to his baby sister.  He carries her around like a little rag doll and she smiles with her whole face, delighted by his attention.  He is constantly feeding her, creating games for her ("Here Rosie!  I made towers for you to crash!" and "Rosie!  Rosie!  Here's some bubbles for you to pop!) and, my favorite, kissing her goodnight.

He argues with me anytime I tell him she must take a nap.  "But Mommy!  She's not tired!  We were right in the middle of a game!" he says.  I tell him that she is, in fact, tired and scoop her up in my arms.  "Well let me at least kiss her goodnight!" he tells me.  She hears her cue and throws herself upside down so that he can give her "upside down kisses" and he hugs her and kisses her fat little cheeks.  She squeals with joy and sometimes goes into a belly laugh that is contagious.

The other day, after this giant display of affection, I took her upstairs to her room.  But my oldest wasn't quite ready to let her go.  As I changed her diaper and read her stories, he popped into the room countless times.  "Rosie!  Goodnight little girl!  I love you!" he said as he ran in and out of the room.  

"Buddy, I know you love her but she has to go to bed," I told him.  I could feel frustration starting to rise in me after the third time.  The first time was sweet but I really needed to start calming her down.  

"Oh alright, Mommy," he said flatly.  He brightened as he addressed his sister.  "Night night baby girl!"

Rosie and I settled back into our routine and as I finished our last book, I laid her down to rock her.  She looked at me then at the door.  "Uck!" she yelled. "Uck!"  I realized she was looking for her brother, Luke, when she changed her tone to a question.  "Uck?" she asked.

"He had to go downstairs so that you could go to bed, sweet girl," I told her.  She sighed and buried her little head in my shoulder, ready to accept her fate.

As I watch them together, I am reminded of the mom I was when I only had one child.  I was much less busy, much more focused during our time together and my whole world centered on his happiness.  I feel guilt at times about the shift.  I certainly try to spend a lot of one on one time with my daughter but it just isn't as possible as it was five years ago.  And yet, my son is paying it forward.  He is the one who sits with her and does shape puzzles, reciting the names of each shape.  He is the one who reads her baby books while I make lunch and makes all the animal sounds that give her the giggles.  For that I am forever grateful.

How do you see your children paying it forward?  Today, tell them how grateful you are for their loving hearts.

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