Sunday, July 24, 2011

The BIG SISTER award

- The Judds

In the last post I wrote that love has multiplied in our home.  As I thought about that statement, I realize how true it really is.  Not only have we opened a new place in our hearts for this tiny boy, but we have opened ourselves up to love in a new way within our family.  My love for my husband has grown as I watch him take on a million different roles while I focus on Charlie.  His relationship with Julia has always been precious and hands on, but they have changed together over the past couple of weeks as he has spent a great deal of one-on-one time with her.  She has his individual attention and she is well aware of this.  She is now crying for "daddy" when she is upset, which is a reflection of this shift.  In some ways I am craving more time with her, but I am also acutely aware of the need for their time together. 
The other transformation that I have seen since Charlie's arrival is Julia's love for her little brother.  I love Julia in so many ways, but to see her as a big sister is absolutely heartwarming.  She is a nurturer, she loves him and describes it in the most precious toddler-like ways like, "ohh, he's so cute" and "I love him so much!".  She always says "he's so little!" and she loves to be helpful when he is crying or needs something.  She has always had these nurturing qualities (we call her the aggressive nurturer as she often gets a bit overly demonstrative with her hugs), but having a brother allows her a lifelong ticket in this role as big sister.  There is nothing like having a sibling to share your childhood (and beyond) with.  I think about my relationship with my sister and I can't imagine my life without her.  She understands me like nobody else in the world and I cherish her advice and support in my daily life even when she's miles away.  What a gift to watch their relationship unfold! 
In reality, Julia has spent more time in time-out in the last 10 days than she had in the previous 10 weeks, which is a reflection of her strong grip on the need for attention during this transition.  It has been helpful to hear that this will get better and we are doing all of the right things to make sure that she feels part of these changes.  Despite these attention seekng behaviors, we have had some of the sweetest moments together as a family.  This morning Julia, Charles and I danced to our wedding song (Pachelbel Canon in D), which plays  on Charlie's bouncer seat as he sat and "watched" us.  Julia loved this!  It was a striking reminder of how much our lives and our love has evolved since I walked down the aisle to that song on our wedding day 4 years ago.
So here's to a GREAT big sister, who I'm sure feels a little bit slighted with the new arrival in our home, but at the same time is about to embark on one of the greatest adventures of her life as role model to this wonderful little boy!
We are so proud of you Julia Claire!

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