Monday, July 14, 2008

I understand...

I know it's hard sometimes, baby girl.

We expect so much from you...we always have. All of our hopes and dreams and everything we ever wanted in a child were automatically expected of you on the day you came into our lives. Just a tiny little cherub you were, but you were our entire universe in one little 7 lb. 8 oz. bundle. We lived an idyllic existence, where the world revolved around you, and we lived just to see your face light up with your infectious smile. And after living four perfect years that way, suddenly your world changed.
Noah made his way into our lives and our cohesive little family unit had to make room for your new baby brother. You were so excited! You never complained...not even once. Not when it seemed that everyone was coming just to see him, not when they brought him presents and sometimes forgot to bring a little something for you, not when it seemed like all I did was hold him and nurse him, and not even when we missed an entire session of gymnastics because I was overwhelmed at home. You asked a million questions, sat patiently beside me, helped me in every way you could, and loved your little brother every single way your four-year-old heart knew how. You've willingly shared toys with him, showed him how to do a thousand different things, helped him wash his hands, motivated him to pee in the potty, made him the star in dozens of your plays. You've told every person you know how much you love your brother. You've always said you're lucky to have him.

But still...it's hard.

I understand how you feel. Being the oldest isn't all it's cracked up to be, is it? I understand more than you know, because I'm an oldest child too. I watch you two and remember my own childhood as he chatters constantly, repeats himself incessantly, antagonizes you to no end, tears apart your elaborate creations, makes messes in your room, breaks your things...and most of all, it seems like he gets all of the attention and none of the discipline. You feel like you have to do everything perfectly, and he gets away with everything. It's your job to set a good example, whether he follows it or not. It's not fair, and you aren't going to take it anymore, right?

I know. I've been there before, and I'm trying to make it easier for you...really, I am. I try to help you in every way I can think of. But you have to remember...

Noah is three, honey. He doesn't understand all the things you do, like why we can talk loudly during a movie at our house but not at the movie theater, or why you can walk over to the neighbors' house by yourself and he can't, or why you get to stay up late and catch fireflies and he has to go to bed. Or even why we don't backwash in our bottled water, or eat candy found in a parking lot, or stuff an entire roll of toilet paper in the toilet. He has a hard time with the concept of time-out and eating vegetables and (sometimes) sharing. BUT...

Who was the 3 year old tow-headed little boy who defended your honor (to none other than the family dog) yesterday when Scout bumped into you on the stairs and scratched your foot? Who walked right up and got nose to nose with his 120 lb. beloved doggy and said "DON'T PUSH MY SISTER!!! DO YOU HEAR ME?! DON'T YOU PUSH MY SISTER!!"

I know that sometimes it feels like we love Noah more...but we don't. You are our first-born...our only daughter. You helped us navigate a road we had never traveled, you've filled out hearts with sweet memories of experiences that can never be repeated. We knew from the very day I found out I was pregnant with you that you were extraordinary...and you are! We have never been disappointed in you...not one single day in the last 7 1/2 years. And even though you've been having a tough time here lately being the big sister to a chatty, repetitive (but cute!) little brother, you can rest assured that nothing has changed. You are still our most favorite little girl, and we love you more than all the stars in the sky, and all the eyeballs on all the people (story to be shared later...). And I promise you this, sweet girl... that little boy loves YOU more than all the chocwat in the world. You're his big sister, his only sibling, and that will never change.


15 comments:

Miss Got Wings said...

how sweet. You should read this to her one day. Poor Kendall, sounds like she's havin' a rough time.

Chin up kiddo :) You are such a great kid and your family is so blessed to have you! Boys will always lag behind in being mature and growing up when compared to girls - at least you're learning when you're young. When he's older, though, you'll look back on all of these times spent with him (even if he can get a little annoying) fondly. That's coming from an only child who would give anything for an annoying little tag-along brother :) Enjoy him - these days go by so fast!

Hammer said...

It's a struggle to make things seem fair for all the siblings. I once wondered how it would be possible. It is tough but we do our best.

terri said...

Poor Kendall. It's so hard for us, as parents to ever find that perfect balance. Kudos to you for recognizing that and trying to put it in perspective for your sweet girl.

jenelle said...

This post sounds like a great scrapbook page to me. Very well written and from the heart. It's tough to be young.

Logziella said...

I remember having a little brother myself...he was 10 years younger than me and an entirely different situation that yours but nonetheless I can relate to how Kendall is feeling. It's tough. Thankfully she has amazing parents who love her and work hard to understand her thru it all. I definately would save that letter for her!

IEAT_SNOWMANPOOP said...

yeah i know how she feels too

kenady said...

You may want to start a support group... McKenna has a few things to add to this great post about her super cute, yet annoying little brother:)

Alisa said...

I wrote this long comment then it got erased. UGH. How sweet this post is and it made me tear up! I may never encounter this situation as mine are experiencing everything together at the same time. There have been plenty of squabbles though.I am the youngest of three and I know my brothers have a different perspective on how we grew up so it's different for each child. I think it's great to let Kendall know you understand how she feels cause you've been there. Those pics of her are really cute! She'll be playing on the beach with kids her age in no time.
p.s. hope the doggy sitter I referred works out!

Deetra said...

What a fantastic post Jen. You made me cry. I feel for Kendall. Being an only child I didn't experience this but I know that Shea will. Save this letter to her, it's a great one and one she needs to keep reading as she grows up. We love Kendall Bug.

kc said...

You should print this post out for Kendall to have when she gets older. This was so sweet! It brought a tear to my eye.
Of course I was the baby sister, and always wanted to be included with my big brother and his friends...so I feel Noah's pain of wanting to be his big sisters equal and best friend. :)

kozgirl said...

what a gem of a post!! you should print this out and put it with her baby book! That was so sweet.

Bridgett Hayes said...

I'm crying also!

Chuck & Lisa said...

me too, me too! I too am all red & splotchy and tear-streaked. Ah--Jen--you can really capture emotion!

countrymouse said...

what a sweet letter to your daughter . . . *sniff* . . .

Kuckie said...

Awww...you guys are a bunch of softies!!! And I will definitely be keeping a copy of the letter for my sweet girl. She'll probably need to read it over and over and over again...

 
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