My darling baby girl,
Today you are two. There are so many things I want to say to you. Things that for now you won't really understand. I'm writing them down anyway so that you will know when you are older that I never lost sight of you. Not once.
You see I hear it. I know that you are more often referred to in relation to your sister than as yourself. You are the nameless ‘sister of’ just as I am the nameless ‘parent/guardian of’. Today at the hospital someone referred to you as my ‘other one’ and I could have cried. You’re not my other one, my darling, you are my wonderful, hilarious, clever, special you.
Instinctively you have always understood. You have an amazing ability to silence when you know we need to deal urgently with a medical need. You know where to pass sick buckets from, you understand (and recently have been trying to help with) tube feeding. You come running if I’m ever out of the room and you think she needs me. You pick up toys she can’t reach and retrieve dummies or chewies.
At the tender age of two you understand that you can’t just take things off your sister the way most little sisters try. You know she can’t fight you or chase you and you know that isn’t fair. Amongst your first words was the gentle ‘there there’ I’ve heard you comfort her with so many times.
I see you battling with jealousy and confusion and I understand truly I do. It’s impossible to explain effectively to you, at 2 years old, why when you throw food at the table it’s naughty but when she throws food it’s because her brain will not cooperate with her muscles.
That occasion when I turned my back and you hit her (not hard or with any venom) you had confessed before I even turned around and without me saying a single word you took yourself off and sat on the step and you cried. I cried too. I cried for you, for the magnitude of being the responsible baby sister, the big girl, the carer.
I forget, my baby, that you are so young. The kindness and patience you demonstrate far exceed that which could be expected of one so young. It’s a lot to take on being part of our team but you do it so beautifully.
I know that you love your sister, you tell me, you tell her. You often cry when we drop her at school because you miss her during the day. But today is about you and I want to promise you something, sincerely.
I promise that you will never come second in our house. You might feel like you do, you might see the time and energy it takes from us being your sisters parents but know that we are yours too.