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Fabulous Big Sister: A Letter to My Daughter

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My second baby will be born just about three weeks before my first child’s 8th birthday. Although I didn’t plan to have children so far apart in age, that’s the way life happened for us. The more I think about it, the less worried I get. While some folks might worry that a girl who is used to being an only child for so long would feel some resentment towards a new sibling, my Ayva is the complete opposite.

Thoughtful and independent, Ayva has surprised me so much over the last nine months with how mature and flexible she is able to be. From the very first trimester when she would wipe my forehead with a wet washcloth as I dealt with morning sickness, to the way she’s been helping Terrence and me prepare our home to welcome her little brother, this girl is no doubt going to be an amazing big sister.

I’m a big sister myself,  so I know how tough the role can be. While Ayva is pretty fantastic already, she’s still going to need our encouragement. Being the oldest sibling is a lot of (often thankless) work. Terrence and I are committed to making sure Ayva feels included, remembered, and appreciated.

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Dear Ayva,

Can you believe that in just a couple of weeks you won’t be the youngest person in the house anymore? You’ve been the baby for so long that I know this change might feel a little weird at first. I remember when I first became a big sister. There was so much expected of me! There were times when I had to be quiet because the baby was sleeping, or I had to help out when I wanted to play. It was hard at first. It wasn’t long before I realized how cool it was to be a helper, though. I loved having responsibilities and getting to be in charge sometimes! My parents really depended on me, and appreciated the help that I gave them.

Daddy and I are going to need your help, too. You have already done so much to show us how serious you are about your big sister role. You read to the baby, put his clothes away, and have been helping to get his nursery ready. I am so thankful for all of the ways you are showing your brother how much you love him already. You are such a blessing to him—and to our family.

Being a big sister is hard work. There are times when I used to wish that I could be the baby and have everyone else take care of me. The older I got, the more it became clear that me being a good big sister to my siblings actually helped them be better. Knowing that makes me feel really good about myself, and grateful that I have been able to make a difference in their lives. As a member of the very special Big Sister Club, you’ll get to feel the same thing! Even when it does’t feel like your brother is listening, just know that you are going to be the person he looks up to the most.

Even though you aren’t the baby of the family, you’ll always be Mommy and Daddy’s baby. We love you so, so much! I promise you that there’s plenty of love and attention to go around for you and your brother. You can always come to me if you feel like you need some extra snuggles, or if need a break from being the big sister and want to be Mommy’s little bird again for a little bit.

Thank you for the love that you bring to our family. Thank you for being such a sweet daughter. Thank you for showing us already that you’re ready to be a fabulous big sister.

I love you forever and ever,