On Giving You A Sibling

My Edie,

This year we will meet your first sibling. I spent the first trimester of this pregnancy feeling incredibly guilty at the idea of taking my attention, energy, and body and dividing them between you and someone else. It felt like a betrayal--I just love you so much. But as we ring in the year of your baby sister's birth, I am filled with hope and convinced that I couldn't come up with a better gift for you if I had all of the money and time in the world. This year I will love another little girl in front of you. I will hold her more, nurse her more, and comfort her more--she will be more helpless than you for quite a while. I will show you that the world does not revolve around you, and it will make you uncomfortable. 

This year, I pray you fall madly in love with your baby sister and that she goes on to torture you the way only younger siblings can. I pray she pulls your hair, steals your clothes, and begs to tag along with you and your cool older friends. I will ask you to hold her while I pee, help her climb the stairs up to the slide for the first time, and read to her in the backseat on long road trips, and these things will not always feel convenient because you will think you have better things to do than spend time with your sister. But I pray you do them, because that means you will grow up. And I pray she will grow up, too, to lovingly braid the hair she once pulled.

And then you'll share clothes willingly, and sob into one another's necks after your first heartbreak, and stay up planning ways to undermine my wishes and grow up a little faster than you should. But you'll do it together, and that is my greatest hope. That is why I'm giving you a sibling--not because you matter less, but because you matter so much that I want there to be someone there to tell you when you won't listen to me, and there, still, when I'm not around anymore. And I want you to have someone who matters that much to you, too, because she will keep your heart soft. I love you so much that I will love your sister just as much.

Happy 2017, my big girl.