Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Change Is In The Air

Yesterday was a big day for our family: we learned that the baby who we are so eager to meet this December is... a... GIRL!

OK, so maybe it was a bigger day for some members of our family, than others. Our four sons were all rather quiet when my husband and I showed them the ultrasound pictures. Their 9-year-old sister was beyond elated and shocked. I have to think that the rather unladylike "in your face!" comments she made to her brothers had something to do with their unusually quiet reactions.

As a female and a girl who waited through 9 1/2 years (and 2 brothers) to finally "get a sister", I understood how my daughter was feeling; although, not completely, as I never had to deal with waiting for a baby sister and then learning that she died before we ever had the chance to meet. So, this new baby sister is even more special.

As "spoiled" as my daughter can seem at times (especially to her brothers), she is (through no one's fault) living a life that is a bit isolated.
Sure, she has her own room, but she misses out on the late-night giggles and secrets I hear her brothers sharing every night in their shared rooms.
Yes, she never has to wear hand-me-downs, but she has also never has the special moments of hero-worship when she hands down a special piece of clothing to a younger sibling who acts as if it's made of pure gold.
I also see the pure joy on her face as she plays with her many girl cousins and friends from school. I know she is thinking, "Now HERE are people who understand why purple, grape lip-gloss is EXCITING!", or something along those lines.

Of course, she also has a pretty unique perspective on males, in general, and her brothers, in particular. She has no problem playing with her brothers when the games they are playing are interesting to her (and they often are). Her teachers have often commented that she gets along equally well with both female and male classmates, which is not the "norm" for most children her age. I also see a really healthy, and uncommon, competitiveness in her demeanor which enables her to believe that she really can do anything she wants to do, or at least to try. Also, her father is pretty impressed that she can take an accidental shot to the head with a basketball during a pick-up game and just shake it off and keep playing.

With the impending arrival of her new sister, there are some pieces of information regarding younger sisters which I would like to share with her. However, I know that her experience will be different from mine, and, more importantly, I just cannot rain on her happy parade right now.

I cannot tell her that an almost-10 year age difference makes for a pretty lengthy delay in sharing late-night stories, giggles, and secrets. Something like a 20 year delay.
I cannot tell her that this sister will eventually come to an age where she does NOT wanted to be treated like doll, whose only purpose is to be dressed and coiffed by her older sister.
I cannot tell her that, most times, hero-worship has to be earned.

Right now, all I can do is enjoy the moment with her. She and I can surf the web together, looking for matching sister outfits for Christmas. We can plan out how she and her sister will divide the dresser drawers in her (now "their"!) room. And, she and I can both enjoy the small tempering of testosterone in our home --- it's been a LONG time coming!