Dear Tessa: Preparing Big Sister

Dear Tessa,

Seven weeks until your debuting role as “big sister.”  I’ve thought a lot about what that will mean for you and for me.  How becoming a big sister means you will no longer be my “baby” baby.  How I will help you make the transition.  In the coming weeks, all I can think to do is soak up all of the time I have with you as my first little.  Because soon there will be another leaf budding on our tree.

I’ve relished so much in your successes lately because I am so very proud of you.  Slowly but surely you are becoming a toddler.  My big girl.  I have reminisced the last eighteen months of you growing.  For most babies, milestones come naturally.  For you they did, too, but with assistance.  We had the pleasure of teaching and guiding each one of your milestones.  The little set backs made us pay attention and kept our focus.  So when your big moments happened, they were monumental and bittersweet–even if sometimes they only lasted for a few days and disappeared only to return a short while later.

Like last night when started pulling yourself up and cruising around the furniture.

Like last night when you started pulling yourself up and cruising around the furniture.

And for that I am thankful.  Because I know this is a gift I will pass on with your little sister; the habit of always watching closely and focusing so I do not miss a minute of her growing, of course with you helping her.  And if I ever get distracted, I will have you to remind me.

I know it will be tough at times.  We will have two littles under the age of two.  It will challenge your Dad and I.  It will challenge you as well.  Now and again, it will frustrate Casin.  But I promise in all of that, I won’t leave you behind…ever.  I will still take your picture–probably even more, your Dad will still rock you to sleep at night, your brother will still read you books and we will always celebrate your victories.

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People tell me to watch out and that toddlers struggle with new babies.  I am not expecting a lot of perfection.  I am aware that you will need me more.  But I don’t seem to mind, otherwise we would have waited longer.  I know that it means my alone time with you post-baby will be even more fulfilling than it is now.

My head is filling up with forthcoming memories like the two of you coloring with sidewalk chalk and helping mommy bake and playing house and eventually fighting over clothes and sacred privacy that big sisters long for…just like what I had with Aunt Erika.

I cannot wait to introduce you to your sister and new best friend.  I have envisioned the picturesque moment when you come through the hospital room door and sit on my lap with your baby sister.  Mostly, I cannot wait to refer to you both as my girls.

Until then I am hanging on tight to my girl.

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Love, Mom

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