Friday, August 8, 2008

Big Celebration

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Dear Henry,

A few days ago you and I made cupcakes. When it was time to eat them after dinner, you wanted to make a celebration out of it. You insisted on candles, singing, pictures -- pretty much a birthday party is what you wanted. So, daddy and I decided to make it a celebration of being big -- a big boy, a big brother, a big helper (with a lot of emphasis on the big brother part.) We couldn't think of a BIG song, so we just sang happy birthday. That was just fine with you and you are now insisting that your birthday is in August. And that you are four. We're not fighting that battle.
I just wanted to say, for the family record, that you are a fantastic big brother, Henry. I love the way you have so willingly opened your BIG heart and made room for Lily. You've had a lot of outings with friends lately and every time you leave the house, you say, "But wait! First, I need to kiss my baby sister." When she's sad you get her "pinky" (that's what you call her pink binky.) When she's stinky, you grab me a diaper. When she's sleeping you like to go in my room and peer over the edge of her bassinet. And even though that drives me a little bit crazy (because I really don't want you to wake her up,) I think it's pretty sweet that you are so fascinated with her that just watching her sleep holds enough intreague to maintain your easily-diverted attention for a few minutes.

I know it's hard sometimes, sharing attention, and time, and space with a new little person. Some things are hard to understand -- like why when Lily cries, daddy and I give her what she needs, but when you cry (for no apparent reason or over silly, silly things,) we insist that you ask like a big boy and those kind of baby antics sometimes even land you in time out. I'm sure it's hard for you to see Lily sleeping in our room when we are so insistent that you sleep in your big boy bed in your own room. I know it's been hard to be housebound for the past few weeks; we were used to a pretty active lifestyle, you and I, before Lily joined us. And despite my best efforts to conjure up creative fun at home, boredom is an ever-threatning foe. We've had some trying parenting moments with you over the past two weeks. We're still having them. I'm sure we will continue to have them for a decent period of time during this adjusting-to-being-a-sibling phase. And during many phases to come.

I just want to remind you that no matter how many siblings or what kinds of difficulties lie ahead, we will always love you, Henry -- me, and Daddy...


and Lily.



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