She was only a few hours old. Five, maybe six hours at the most. She was so small and helpless. Wrapped in the hospital issued receiving blanket and wearing the pink crocheted hat I had brought for her, she was a silly sight. Tiny, pink, wearing a giant hat that wouldn’t fit her for a good year. And yet… she was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. Still is.
We were so thrilled to have her here finally. Although I still couldn’t fully comprehend having a daughter, I knew I loved her. She was a mini-me, and remains so a year later. Up until her arrival my world had revolved around my five-year-old son. He was the sun in my universe. I wasn’t sure how he was going to handle this new person in our lives.
When I was born 35 long years ago, my big brother was quite upset with my arrival. So much so that he pouted and threw a “grouch party” in protest. He went to his room and cried and wailed about me. I was there to steal his thunder and he didn’t like it. He is 39 now, and I still give him grief about this memory. I’m sure in my teen years I caused many more grouch parties in his world.
So would my son, my angel react the same way? For nine months we tried to prepare him for her arrival. We let him pick out clothes for her. Toys. Bedding. He was very much involved in the whole process. When I was at my most pregnant, he used to put his Hot Wheel cars on my belly and let them roll off. Once or twice, the baby would kick exactly where the car was, and he thought that was the end all be all of cool. And you know…. it was.
The day was here. The time had come. He was being ushered into my room to meet his little sister. I was nervous, excited, anxious for the meeting. He walked in. Sheepishly, he peered around the corner. Our eyes met.
“Mommy!!!”, he yelled and rushed to my side.
“Are you ready to meet your sister?” I asked him. He nodded. My mother was holding her at the time, and he walked cautiously over to her, sat down, and she handed him the baby.
His eyes lit up. He smiled the biggest smile I had ever seen. He bent down and kissed her head and uttered five little words that I will never, ever forget.
“I love her so much!”
I cried. My sister-in-law cried. Both Moms cried. It was the greatest moment I can remember in my existence. He loved her. There was no grouch party here. He adored her. He didn’t want to let her go. I cried huge tears of joy and amazement that day. My angel, my boy, he was so very perfect.
Even today, he is completely in love with his sister. He hugs her so much and so hard that we actually have to tell him to stop. When I have to leave the room, he happily watches her. Feeds her. Offers up his toys with no hesitation. Covers her head when she is in an area where she might hit it (known as bonk zone in our house). He has surpassed all of my expectations and then some. He’s my best thing ever.