Mommy. Are some bugs scary and some are not? Do some kids have dogs and others don’t? Are some babies’ different sizes? Mommy, do some babies stand?”
“Yes, buddy.” I answer as I drive the car from daycare to our home.
Hailey doesn’t stand.”
“Hailey doesn’t stand.”
The conversations have begun. Noah, my almost four-year-old has been doing a lot of comparing and contrasting in school, and it was only a matter of time before he started to apply it to his own life. He has been observing and analyzing, and now he is reflecting on what he sees.
Noah notices the differences between his sister compared to their cousins, friends, and other babies. I knew this day would come, but I had no idea it would come so quickly and hit me so hard. I worry, constantly. I worry about Hailey, I worry about Noah, I worry about my family in general. But I do not worry about the love and compassion my son, at such a young age, has for his baby sister.
Typical four-year-olds are all about themselves- the world is their stage and we are the audience. Noah loves the attention and thrives off peoples’ laughter and constant affection towards him. I was so worried before Hailey was born that it would affect him. But he didn’t miss a beat. The world still rotated on its axis, all while revolving around Noah.
What I didn’t expect was to see my Noah embrace Hailey into his world, bringing her along for the ride. I often worry that he is missing out on the milestones of “sibling-ship.” What I envisioned or compare to others’ experiences: the cute videos of them playing in the bathtub together, chasing Hailey around while she crawls, or the sibling rivalry that can often exist.
What I do get to enjoy is our own unique family memories: making breakfast in the kitchen and hearing giggles from the family room while Noah lays next to Hailey on her play mat; Noah shaking his tush and dancing around her, making sure she is engaged in his play; or his innocent and genuine concern for her when she has a Band-aid on her hand after some blood work.
I thank my lucky stars that I was given these two children. Noah- full of wonder and love, compassion and joy. He is the best big brother I could have dreamed of. And my Hailey, so joyful and loving. The cutest “toothy” smile around. She has shown me a beautiful path in places I never knew existed. Because of Hailey, we have been connected to and met people in all different parts of the world who have shown us grace, support, love, and kindness.
Through his eyes, through her eyes, I have learned to never lose sight of what life is all about.