The way you found out I was pregnant with your little sister is because you had pieced it together and asked me point blank if I had a baby inside me. I was going to hold off telling you. But, conveniently, you asked me the morning we were going to my first real midwife appointment. How could I lie to you?
Over the coming months, you became more and more excited for your baby sibling to get here. You insisted it was a girl. And Dad and I gently tried to teach you that we don’t have control if baby is a boy or a girl. But you insisted. And, as fate would have it, you were right. You came with us to the 20-week ultrasound. When the ultrasound technician confirmed we were, in fact, going to be getting a baby sister you hardly acted surprised. You “knew” after all.
Now, with the final stretch ahead of us before you’re officially a big sister, everyone keeps telling me trouble is coming: Older siblings often struggle stepping in to the role. But, if I’m honest, I sense the only problem we’re going to have is you being overly affectionate.
This pregnancy has been hard. And I’ve been exhausted and at times sick. You’ve been with me every step of the way. And while, on occasion, you are not very patient with me — you just barely turned 4, after all — overall, you’ve been the one taking care of me. On more than one occasion, when I fell asleep on you mid-play, I’d wake to you draping me with a blanket or telling me, “It’s okay, Mom.” A specific time I was crying from exhaustion and feeling overwhelmed. You asked me what’s wrong and suggested maybe I needed to be cheered up. You suggested a game would cheer me up and ran to grab a board game. I reluctantly played. But by the end I was laughing and feeling light-hearted and grateful.
When I had to do the gestational diabetes screening, I started feeling very ill. I felt as if I might pass out and started crying. The phlebotomist laid back my chair and gave me ice chips and a cold washcloth for my face. Previously, you’d been happily playing. But the moment you noticed my tears, you came and hugged my legs, crawled in to my lap and were leery of any new person who came to talk to me. You were trying to comfort and protect me. I love you for that. You are empathetic, selfless and thoughtful. And I have no doubt you will be a naturally protective, nurturing big sister.
Sometimes I forget you are only 4 years old. You seem like you have so much personality and soul for such a tiny body. You are smart and observant. You love to help others. You love Jesus. You are creative and mischievous. But you’re also anxious and prone to tears. And your fears seem to encompass your entire being in much the same way your joy does. You feel deeply and intensely, for better or worse. I sense it will be both a blessing and a curse for you, the older you get.
You are not merely a 4-year-old, but you are a beautiful child of God. You were before this mortal journey and you will continue after its end. You have depth and substance and inherit value that extends beyond your physical state, whether now or later. You are so much more than the sum of your parts. I hope, as time moves forward, you will continue to value and seek after those things that enrich and edify your soul. In the Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 9:51, it says, “Come unto the Holy One of Israel, and feast upon that which perisheth not, neither can be corrupted, and let your soul delight in fatness.” My beautiful girl, I hope your soul just gets fatter.
I love you.