A friend of mine who is due with her second around the same time as I am asked me the other day if I was anxious about SK not being my baby anymore. I had to really stop and think about it. I am anxious about a whole-lotta stuff lately; hardly a day goes by now without me melting down into a big ugly wet mess of tears and hormones about something. But anxious about Sara becoming a big sister? About her not being my baby any more?
Honestly? No. I’m sentimental about it, of course. I’m trying to soak in these last few weeks, knowing that once the baby comes she’s going to seem HUGE. But mostly I’m so excited for her to be a big sister and to introduce her to this nebulous presence in her life: baby brother. She seems more accepting of the fact that he really is in my belly, I guess because the belly is getting out of control lately. But really, she has no idea. And I can’t wait!
Part of the reason why I’m not worried I think has to do with her personality. Sara has an independent streak a mile wide and she gets more and more bossy every day. SK’s got this big sister thing in the bag! I suppose another reason why I’m not worried is because she is already two, so we’ve had a nice stretch together and she really isn’t a baby anymore. But you know what? I don’t think there’s some magic-perfect space between kids and frankly, I think we Catholic moms are too hard on ourselves about spaces between children. My first 3 sisters are really close together in age and then I’m 3 1/2 years younger than Claire and 5 years older than Mary. Jim is 4 years younger than Mary and Joanie is 4 1/2 years younger than Jim. But we’re all really close (and have been/will be) in different ways and at different times. The important thing is not how close or far apart we are in age, it’s that we have each other.
A little while back when I was visiting my family, I had a talk with my Grandma about her relationship with her brother. She said that they had really grown closer in recent years since she had lost Grandpa in 2009. Now Uncle Bill is the one who has really known Grandma for most of her life. I had never thought of siblings that way before. I had always viewed Dave as my life-partner, and he is, primarily. But my siblings, too, are my companions on this journey. Mary and I will always be able to joke about the PBS shows we watched as kids. Rose and Jane will always hearken back to their ridiculous fights as teenagers. Jim and Mary will be able to reminisce about the lego and playmobile creations they made. While we are all very different people, we’re all cut from the same cloth, raised by the same parents, and experienced much of the same things growing up. What an incredible gift God and our parents gave us in our siblings!
I hope and pray that Sara Kate and her little brother are joined by more little siblings as time goes by. But that’s all in the future and way out of my hands. Right now, I’m anxiously (yes, anxiously!) awaiting this little boy’s delivery and praying for his health and safety. But I’m also joyful and excited for Sara to meet her brother and for them to have each other.