Friday, April 10, 2015

big sister

Hi, Sweet Baby!

Have I ever told you that having you as my baby has been the coolest thing ever? You have rocked my world. In fact, after we had you, your dad and I thought, “Yeah, kids are pretty awesome,” as we decided to have another baby! We think you are that amazing.

So your little brother is coming soon, and we are so excited. He’s already a wild man, flipping around in Mama’s tummy and doing tricks for the lady at the doctor’s office. I think he’ll be lots of entertainment for us both.

Soon you’ll see me decorating his room, setting up his crib, and adding that second seat to your yellow stroller. Soon you’ll see me holding him, kissing him, and letting him sit right next to me.

Soon you won’t be my only baby. I know that might be hard for you. It’s hard to share, it’s hard to see things change. But you’re my bundle of wonderful, and you will be an awesome big sister. See, being a big sister is a big deal. It’s one of the highest compliments God can give a little girl! Your brother will look up to you and will learn from you, so you have a very important job—to protect, to play, to laugh, to encourage, to love.

But here’s something you need to know: Loving is hard work sometimes. 

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

The Bible says that love is patient and kind – will you be a patient, kind big sister? Sometimes little brothers and sisters can be loud or frustrating or mean. Will you be patient and kind anyway?

The Bible says that love does not envy, doesn’t brag, and isn’t proud. Sometimes it’s easy to be jealous when it feels like a brother is more successful or well-liked, or when it feels like a sister is more beautiful or talented. Will you be a loving big sister anyway, rooting for your little brother or sister no matter what?

The Bible says that love does not dishonor others. When your brother is being silly, don’t be mean. Smile at him, say nice things, let him hang around for a bit. Never forget how much he matters. Protect his heart as much as you can—it may not seem like his feelings can get hurt, but they can. Someday he’ll protect your heart right back, and you’ll be so glad you have him.

If God gives you a little sister someday, and she wants to hang around with you and your friends a little bit, try to include her. Try to make her feel welcome and wanted. There will be times when you need to play alone with your friends, and that’s fine, too. Just let me know, and I’ll help you. My job is to help, and your job is to be kind.

There’s lots of other times when you won’t feel like loving your siblings, but will you do it anyway? Will you help me and Daddy show them what love really means?

It’ll be hard work, but it’s good work. It’s worth it. You can take it from me – I’m a big sister, too. Did you know that your Uncle Phillip is my little brother and Aunt Adeline is my little sister? 

I know you love them a lot. When they’re around, you know it’s party time, and you giggle so much that I end up laughing until I cry. They make you really happy, and they make me really happy, too. 

I wish I knew more words so that I could really explain how much I love them, how glad I am that God let me be their big sister because then you might know how blessed you are to be Greer’s big sister. Being a big sister is one of the nicest things that God has ever done for me, and I am so glad he decided to do it for you, too.

Did I ever tell you about the time when we were little, and I cried and cried because Uncle Phillip hit his head on the fireplace and needed stitches? He was hurt, and it hurt me to know that. I like him to be okay because being his big sister is the best.

Did I ever tell you how when I was 15 and Aunt Adeline was 10, we were in The Nutcracker together? She wore the cutest lamb costume, and I couldn’t stop hugging her and showing her to all my friends. Being her big sister is the best.

Did I ever tell you about the time Uncle Phillip and I duct-taped Aunt Adeline’s legs together and then left her in the front yard for no reason? I don’t know why we did that, but when I remember it, I think, being a big sister is the best.

Did I ever tell you about how Uncle Phillip and I would drive to high school together and choreograph dances to Maroon 5 songs? We still remember them, and it’s pretty weird. Being a big sister is the best.

Did I ever tell you about the day I married Daddy? Aunt Adeline was my sidekick all day long. When your daddy and I finally were standing in front of the pastor next to a beautiful lake ready to get married, she was right next to me, my sister and best friend, shedding a few happy tears. We think Uncle Phillip cried a little too, but later said he had been bitten by a goose. At the reception, he surprised me and sang “Sweet Caroline” with the band. When I think about all that I remember—being a big sister is the best.

Did I ever tell you about the time when I really wanted a Chick-fil-a chicken sandwich, but Daddy and I were on a really strict budget? Uncle Phillip, Aunt Adeline, and I searched the whole house and the Chick-fil-a parking lot for change, and we bought three chicken sandwiches in quarters. I probably could have given up the idea of a chicken sandwich or asked one of them to spot me the money, but our way was better because we laughed the whole time. Being a big sister is the best.

Did I ever tell you about the time when we found out Uncle Phillip was sick? The way it felt to hear that, to think that my little brother was in danger? He had cancer, and I from the second Poppy told me the news, I realized that my little brother is a part of who I am, knit into my very soul, just like Greer will be a part of you. Uncle Phillip is fine now, but it was a sad and scary time, and when I think back on it, I know that I love that guy more than I can say, and I am so glad God lets me be his big sister. It’s the best.

Did I ever tell you that when Uncle Phillip was recovering from surgery, he got really bossy and forced me to do whatever he wanted? He would yell, “CAROLINE, GET ME A DR. PEPPER BECAUSE I HAVE CANCER” and we would both laugh because his humor was so weird and dark and inappropriate. And then obviously I would get him a Dr. Pepper. He makes me laugh even when things are really hard for him, and when I think about it, I remember—being a big sister is the best.

Did I ever tell you about that one time when Aunt Adeline and I got in a fight, a time when I was mean and didn’t love her the way God wants me to? We didn’t talk for two weeks, and it was one of the saddest times of my life. I don’t even like to think about it. But then we saw each other and hugged and hugged because we remembered that love is not self-seeking and love keeps no record of wrongs. I had missed her so much because being a big sister is the best.

Did I ever tell you about the time when I told Uncle Phillip and Aunt Adeline that we were pregnant with you? They both cried and hugged me really tight. They loved you in a big way from the second they heard about you, and it made me remember—being a big sister is the best.

Did I ever tell you about the time at your baby shower when Uncle Phillip drove in from out of town and surprised me? I was so happy to see him, so happy he was my little brother, so happy that he was your uncle that I cried, and I remembered—being a big sister is the best.

Did I ever tell you about when I was really scared and really hurting before I had you, and Aunt Adeline came over every day so I wouldn’t have to be alone? She always walked in with my favorite Sonic drink and once a pair of gold polka dot shoes that matched your nursery. Whenever I wear those shoes, I remember how my little sister was there for me, and I remember—being a big sister is the best.

Did I ever tell you about how no one knows how to make me laugh like my little brother and sister? That rarely does anyone quite understand me on the same level that they do? That at one point they stopped being just little brother and little sister and became my best friends?

Oh my girl, being a big sister is the best. What fun you are going to have! I am so glad you have Greer, and I am so glad he has you. I love you!

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