The minute I put Gabby into the bath with Drew, he took a bucket of water and doused her with it. As a tough girl already accustomed to the abuse of an older brother, she just picked up her rubber ducky and started playing completely unphased by it. The relationship between them is something I will never fully understand but always respect.
For so long, having multiple children was important to me because I wanted to provide my children a built-in support system. I never felt that I was lacking by not having a sibling growing up an only child, but I did feel like there were times in my life that it would have been nice to have a sibling to go through some of life’s challenges. Prior to having Gabby, I was concerned that I was sacrificing Drew’s opportunity to have his parents to himself. Post Gabby, I was concerned that Gabby got slighted by being the second born. Drew has always monopolized all the attention and Gabby sometimes inadvertently becomes an afterthought. Recently since Gabby has become more of a person, they are developing a relationship. The way Gabby lights up when she sees Drew reassures me. Although she will never experience what it is like to be an only child and receive all the attention, she is getting something from growing up with an older brother. The way crazy, wild Drew is sweet and affectionate to Gabby shows me he is learning something from having the chance to have a little sister.
Last week at school, Drew’s class was playing outside and he started pounding on the window to Gabby’s classroom. Once Gabby saw her brother at the window, she started waving with excitement. And with all my original self-doubt about changing the composition of our family and adding a second child, I just received the affirmation that we had made the right decision. And last night when they were fighting over a book, I reminded myself that it’s not going to be all smiles and laughs but it’s special nonetheless.