I think one of the most unsung blessings of being a parent is watching your babies interact. Matt and I always knew we wanted to have more than one kid, but back when Abigail was an only child, part of me would wonder if she should stay that way. It was all worry; I worried about how I could devote time to therapy, how I would manage her all-day hospital appointments when a newborn in tow, what would happen if Abigail developed Leukemia and I had other children. And while we haven't had to deal with the last scenario, with the others, we deal. We do therapy when Eleanor is content to spend a few minutes propped up on the boppy pillow next to us. We over-stuff the diaper bag and ignore the occasional dirty look from strangers during a crying sesh in a waiting room. It's not the big deal I thought it was.
When I was still pregnant, I attended a weekly Bible study that offered free childcare, and every day when I picked Abigail up, one of the caretakers would tell me about how much Abigail loved babies. One afternoon, she told me they had a new little baby who spent the two hours napping in her carseat while Abigail sat beside her. For almost the entire time. She didn't touch her, she just watched her and talked to her. "She's going to be a great big sister!" they told me. And they were spot on. I'm pretty sure Abigail thinks Baybee is the greatest thing that ever happened to her.
Every time Eleanor cries - and I mean every. single. time. - Abigail drops what she is doing and runs over. She "shuushes," gives her blankets, pats her gently, tries to pick her up. And if Eleanor is taking the rare alone-in-our-bedroom nap and she wakes up crying, Abigail throws what she is doing, runs to the bedroom door, and as soon as I open it, she streaks in, rips the blanket off Eleanor, and tries to pick her up. She shouts commands at me: "Diaper!" (said) "Eat!" (signed). When Matt leaves for work, Abigail commands him to kiss Eleanor goodbye. She constantly wants to hug, hold, kiss, and share things with Eleanor. It's draining, but so adorable. She cries when we don't let her "help" us carry Eleanor's car seat to the car, and Abigail is always the first to try to unbuckle her when we get home.
And Eleanor loves Abigail. She looks around when she hears her voice, she smiles at Abigail to get her attention, and usually she'll pause crying for a moment when Abigail arrives to soothe her. And the cutest part? The girls get into this little giggle session. Eleanor smiles at Abigail, making Abigail giggle. Then Eleanor will start cooing, Abigail will try to imitate her and dissolve giggling. The giggles make Eleanor try to laugh, which makes Abigail giggle even more. It's so adorable.
When we found out we were pregnant, I really, really wanted to have a girl so that Abigail could have this relationship that they've already started. I want to do everything I can to nurture their love for one another. They will always have one another; when Matt and I are long gone, they will still have each other.