Five minutes of completely unedited and slightly unintelligible writing.
Bess is walking around shirtless, in hot pink leggings, playing with an Angry Bird made from K’Nex. Seventeen months old today. And I am not sure how we lived life seventeen months and one day ago. She is so perfect in our family. The third child, who is slowly morphing into a baby-in-the-middle. A strange role that is unintentionally, yet unavoidably, thrust upon the younger sibling in her position. A little sister to Adelaide, but teaching big sister new things everyday.
I was fearful to have another daughter. Someone who would be a constant source of comparison. I cried after our morphology ultrasound. She said it was a girl and I realized that I hadn’t even allowed it to be an option. I had already unpacked Graham’s clothes into the drawers. I had decorated Baby Ballew’s side of the double nursery as gender neutral. I hadn’t even thought of girl names. We were having a boy. We needed a boy. Adelaide couldn’t have a sister.
Our physical therapist was so excited when we told her. “Adelaide will learn so much from her! She will urge Addie on and help her reach her potential. Two sisters sharing a room! But you are worried that people will compare them, aren’t you?” Only a few people knew my fear, because it felt like a monstrous thing to admit.
But in that therapy room, I was finally excited about having another girl. Not because it would benefit Adelaide, but because I was able to hear how silly my thoughts sounded. I released it into God’s hands. I opened up my fist so tightly closed around this secret fear about their future relationships and roles.
This baby had been a girl for months. I asked God to take away all the worry and replace it with joy. And He did! The joy of having two daughters often overwhelmed me in a beautiful way. Although they were bound to be different, which isn’t so different from most other pairs of sisters, I started to daydream about all the things they would do together.
My fear wasn’t unfounded. People are naturally prone to compare siblings. But it doesn’t matter what others say. Each of our children are completely unique, yet bound together. Our little family got another girl, and it was cause for celebration! Graham had predicted another sister from the beginning. She was already his best friend before that early morning in September when she was taken from my body.
And as she chases him while nursing her Yoda doll, I think, “Of course God gave us a girl. You were exactly what we needed before your mommy even knew it.”
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