Yesterday I saw a little girl for a sick visit for a sore throat. Sitting next to her on the exam table was her protective older brother, who had his arm wrapped tightly around her shoulders until I had to remove him to examine her. His love for his sister and desire to protect her was obvious and each time I glanced at the little sister’s smiling face looking up at her brother I hoped that one day I would see my two kids in a similar relationship.
At the recommendation of N’s pediatrician at his last check-up, I began to introduce the idea that one night I will go to the hospital and not come back for a few days. He has already been clinging to me more as he sees my growing belly and in his 2-year-old mind knows something big is about to happen. So I started to explain: “one day soon mommy is going to go to the hospital to get your baby sister and I will come home in a few days with her, but you can come visit me there and call me on the phone whenever you want.” I also tacked on a “mommies always come back,” which we discuss whenever he is upset about us parting. He furrowed his little brow and pondered all of this. Then he said to me, “I want a purple one.” Was he listening to anything I just said? Maybe I shouldn’t have started this conversation. He must be too young to understand. “A purple what?” I asked him. “A purple baby sister,” he requested. We settled on a purple cereal bowl this morning instead.
Like N though, I think we are all still processing the reality that this baby is coming soon. I don’t know if you can ever be completely “ready,” but we are trying to be as best prepared as possible. I am officially 37 weeks pregnant today and ecstatic to have made it full term after N’s premature delivery. We have been promising N that his baby sister will bring him a pumpkin and now that the pumpkins are out at the stores, this little lady has a green light to come whenever she is ready.