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Posts Tagged ‘sibling’

Isabel, Regina and JoaquinI’d like you to meet my daughter Isabel. She is 6 years, 7 months and 22 days old, and was born after we had had four of her brothers in succession. You can imagine how thrilled we were at the birth of a girl after years of hoping for another one. My eldest child, Kathrine, had been the only girl until Isabel was born. She, more than anyone else, had been praying and wishing for a girl.

Notwithstanding the fact that I happen to be the mother, Isabel is a beautiful child. More than just physical attributes, I am referring to how she is inside. She likes hugs — loves to get them and loves to give them away. At church, she opens up the hymnal to whatever song is being sung and holds the book open for me. I, in turn, point out the words to her as they are sung. She will make a point of tucking in the label of whatever top I am wearing if it happens to show. She’s quite thoughtful that way. Isabel also has a great memory. If she hears something enough times, she’ll remember it. She also recalls certain things that a person might have mentioned — a favourite food, a funny story or a preference for something or other. The information becomes useful in her trying to think of what the other person would like or what they may find funny.

I wanted you to meet Isabel because this afternoon, while preparing dinner, the baby cried. I was in the middle of trying to do three things at the same time (never a good thing, I know….) and couldn’t have done anything right at the moment. Isabel was nearby and heard the baby cry. She called out to me and asked if she could hold the baby. I told her she could, but she had to stay by the sofa. She was good about following my instructions.

Isabel had held the baby before, always with me in the same room. She has cuddled the little baby and has tried to soothe him many a time that he was crying. She knew what to do and what she couldn’t do. While she couldn’t walk around with the baby, she could certainly try to distract him by talking and singing to him. She tried to show him the gifts under our Christmas tree and was making comments about this or that package. After a bit, the baby had stopped crying and had let himself be properly entertained by his older sister.

When I’m tired and distracted by the mental to-do list that never seems to go away, it helps to consider each child that we have been blessed with in our family. Each one is different and unique — definitely their very own person. In Isabel’s case, she being the sixth had older siblings to look up to and to look after her. Having her older sister afforded her another girl to kind of follow around and learn from. Having four older brothers has helped her be active and interested in other things maybe most girls would not necessarily care for. (She has played goalie to her brothers who love ball hockey.) Having two younger siblings has allowed her the opportunity to be someone’s older sibling and care for them.

My husband and I firmly believe that the children we have are blessings from God. We didn’t “plan” them. They all came, one by one, when they were supposed to. Each one brought into our a family a measure of their character and a great deal of joy that I cannot find enough words to describe. I talk to you about Isabel because I realized, in listening to her care for her baby brother, that the best possible gift we could have ever given each of our children is a sibling. Another child. Another human being to care for.

Isabel does not have to be bored, unless she wants to be so. She has a siblings who can play-pretend with her, and several others who have made it their mission to teach her chess. (Chess is BIG among our kids.) She has siblings who can read her stories, others who can tell her stories. She has siblings who can make her laugh, others who may try to make her cry and so — at that moment — serve the purpose who providing Isabel with a human punching bag. (She packs a mean punch, I’ve been told.) And she has siblings she can care for as any little girl would do with a baby doll.

A baby: the best gift you could ever give your child. More fun than any toy you could possibly think of. Guaranteed.

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