I remember sitting in Mrs. Roberts Spanish class during fourth hour my Sophomore year of high school. It was the day that my mom and stepdad were finding out the gender of their first baby together. As soon as the class bell rang I heard my name being called over the intercom to come to the office because I had received a package.
Inside the office the secretary handed me a blue paper sack and I immediately realized that I was about to be a big sister to a little boy. I was ecstatic! I ate the cupcake inside with blue frosting and proudly showed everyone the sonogram pictures proving that my little sibling was, in fact, a boy. (Sorry about that one, Griffen😉)
I had already been a big sister twice before. At the time I was 16, my brother was 13 and my sister was 10. I was too young to remember either of them being born & we all grew up together sharing the same experiences, memories, and bedrooms. Being a sister came natural, but it wasn’t something that I considered to shape my identity as a person. Griffen was able to show me what being a big sister looks like & helped me form a stronger bond with my other siblings.
I definitely didn’t understand the special bond between siblings or what it meant to be a big sister until Griffen was born. On January 2nd, 2011 my life changed forever. I had a fear that since Griffen is my “half” brother that it would be weird. I was scared that maybe my mom would forget about the three kids she already had because raising a newborn is a lot of hard work. I was nervous that Geoff would look at me and my siblings differently because now he had his own kid. I was expecting a new “divide” in the household; my mom & Geoff with their new baby versus my siblings and I. I imagined we would feel like an old toy left to sit on a dusty bookshelf and Griffen would be the new shiny toy that everyone cared about. I was also nervous because of the 16 year difference between Griffen and I. What could I possibly have in common with a newborn?
For the first time I truly understood what being a big sister was about. Here was this little human who was going to look up to and learn from me. Though, I never realized just how much Griffen was going to teach me.
I learned how to change diapers without getting peed on. (Although this took months of mastery) I learned how to tell the difference between different cries. I could change dirty onesies without getting baby food in Griffen’s hair. I discovered that Griffen loved his bottom patted while being rocked.
I learned how to potty train. I learned how to scare away pretend monsters. I learned how to pretend that Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny existed again. I have memorized nursery rhymes, lullabies, and bedtime stories. I’ve watched countless episodes of Yo Gabba Gabba, Ninja turtles, & Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.
Having such a large age gap between Griffen and I has given me the chance to take full advantage of being a big sister. I couldn’t be more thankful for such a wonderful role to play in this little man’s life.
On December 1st, of this year I was able to watch my two new sisters enter the world. Once again, I was filled with anxiety. How could I bond with two little newborns that I didn’t even live with? I may not get to be there for their first laughs, steps, words, or school days. When they turn 21, the age I am now, I’ll be 42 rocking a mom car with my own kids to raise & potentially some gray hairs. (Really weird for me to think about.)
But once again, God knew what he was doing by placing these two precious girls in my life. I am already wrapped around their little premature, 26 week old fingers.
Here’s to bigger age gaps and new siblings. I couldn’t love my big, completed family any more than I do now. 💗