Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Unsolicited Advice

To a friend who is getting ready to bring home her second child:

Don't worry that this new baby will be a stress to your first born. We all love our first babies so intensely. We worry over them in a way that is often impossible with the second or third. Your first is a strong child and will gain so much for having a sibling. There will be stress for everyone, but it is also growth. I know for Ada, the days she gets frustrated with Ian and Mira are outweighed by what they do for her. As a five year old she may not appreciate what it means to have siblings, but they are teaching her so much about love and joy (and yes, about sharing and compromise).

There are of course days when Ada thinks it would have been better to have been an only. She recently told Chris and me that she doesn't like our family with Ian and Mira. When we asked her why, she replied "Because sometimes Ian bugs me." Chris and I had to hold our tongues so we did not tell her that sometimes she bugs us. Instead, Chris politic-ly said that sometimes people in a family bother one another, but they also so things for one another. "Like what?" Like loving one another. Ian and Mira love Ada so much, even if they show that love in sometimes overly drooly, toddler-messy ways.

I recently read that having a sister makes people happier. I know it is true for me, and I am hopeful that my kids will feel their lives similarly improved by having one another. (and given how chatty Ian is these days, the rationale in the article may hold true for him too)

I am sure that this is how it will be for your family too. Your children will be enriched by having one another. Sharing the experience of growing up together will bond them, as will their happiness at having one another to share stories about their crazy parents. (Not that my sister and I ever do this, mind you. But I've heard some siblings do...)

I am so excited to meet your new baby and to see you four as you grow into being a family together.

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