Monday, March 2, 2015

A Letter to My Sister

I love being pregnant. This second time around has been even more joyous because my sister is pregnant, too. We've been best friends for nearly 29 years and have shared so many milestones with each other. So far this one is probably my favorite.

Even though you and I don't share that kind of history, we have both experienced the fears and hopes that are part of anticipating motherhood. I'm hoping you'll hear my heart in this letter and tuck away the bits that resonate with you.

Dear sister,

I've been ruminating on so many things that it's difficult to sort through them and find words that are as cogent as the way they seem when they are just thoughts in my head. I will do my best though.

I remember so vividly the day you called me to tell me your big news...and the day I called to tell you mine. Lots of "aghhh!" and "oh my word" and "I am SO EXCITED!" And in the months that followed there was lots of "What do you think about..." and "What did you guys do for..." Your firsts have often followed mine, but the exciting thing about this first is that it's not just my footsteps you can use as a guide. You are being ushered into an ancient legacy, one much bigger than the sisterhood we share. Women the world over have experienced this anticipation and though each of our experiences is unique, they are all the same, too. It's a beautiful gift, one I know you thank God for daily. It's also an enormous responsibility, one that can seem heavy at times. You have so much on your mind these days; there are a few things I want you to know.

You think about labor and delivery being just around the corner. I know how strong you are. No matter what happens, I have complete faith that you will kill it in that delivery room while the rest of us wait outside, praying and cheering you on. Natural birth, medications, c-section, will come out the other side as a mother and none of it will matter.

You think about what you'll need as you sift through gifts and check off your list. Pack your bag. All the other sorting and organizing is nice to have finished, but not a necessity. Be sure to slow down these last few weeks and savor some alone time with your husband, some alone time with yourself, and relish the ability to run into Kroger for 2 minutes to grab a gallon of milk.

You think about the hard seasons you've seen me and other moms go through, especially at the beginning. I know the stories of raw nipples and sleepless nights can seem intimidating, but those tough days are temporary and far outnumbered by days full of joy. In anticipation of the challenges you may face, I promise to tell everyone that if they truly love you, they will bring you food. Tuck away this little gem and this one...they are two of the most helpful resources that kept me sane in those chaotic moments when I doubted myself. It felt like such a relief to know I wasn't alone...that what our new little family was experiencing was normal.

You think about whether you will be a good mom. I know without a doubt the kind of mom you'll be. You're an enthusiastic aunt, a genius game player, a compassionate listener, an affectionate friend. You see people's problems as an opportunity to love them better. Your best qualities will be just what your little guy needs to learn about the way he should go, and your shortcomings will be an opportunity for all of you to grow.

You think about the love you know now...the love of your creator, your husband, your family, your friends. Just wait. I know the feeling you'll experience when you meet your sweet baby will help you understand true love better. Like a friend told me once, it's Big Love.

You think about the unknowns, the big decisions, the uncertainty ahead. I know that you are blessed to have a steady and supportive husband and many loving friends. Surround yourself with people who know you well and respect your goals and dreams, whether they are about breastfeeding, parenting, nutrition, etc. I want you to know that I am here, too. I am ready to listen, to pray, to advise, or simply just be with you whenever you need me, as only a sister can.

Sister power 4 lyfe.

Love you,


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