This beautiful letter was written by Rebecca Peterson to her daughter Everly. Rebecca teaches Birthing a Baby with a Little Something Extra: Preparing to Birth a Baby with Extra Needs at The Family Room.
My lovely Everly,
Last night we gave you and your brother a bath together. We often do this - for many reasons - mainly because it gets you both clean quickly and you have fun while you do it. There. I'm a lazy mom. I said it.
During your baths I frequently have to remind your almost 5 year-old brother that you're a baby, that he can't squeeze you so hard and no, he can't pour water over your head. He is so in love with you, Everly. When I see that love in all its forms, I beam. It's so pure and fierce!
However, last night, he decided to try and help me rinse you and it was a little too close to your face, so I got scared and yelled at him to back up. It made him cry big alligator tears. Rightly so. As Daddy finished your bath with the lotion and pajamas, I stayed with your brother to work things out. As he took deep breaths, I validated that being a big brother can be hard at times. To know what to do or not to do all the time. We spoke for a bit about the ways that he is really gentle with you and how much he has learned in this last year.
And then...he got really sad for a moment and said, "I really like when she squeaks. I'm afraid that when she turns "1" she won't make that sound anymore and I will miss that." As tears streamed down both of our cheeks, I realized we were both carrying sentimental feelings for a year gone by too quickly and celebrating the joy that you bring just by being you. I acknowledged that I feel that way whenever he grows bigger too - and doesn't continue to do the cute things I wished he would always do.
How could I have really worried how you having Down syndrome would affect him? Before you were here, I jumped ahead 5, 10, and 20 years and worried about the impact of having a little sister with a disability would affect him and I worried it would be too much. As I look at your connection and the joy and love that is both tender and crazy wild between you, I continue to let go of worry.
You chose well my little beautiful lady. Your big brother is the sweetest, kindest soul of a brother you could have chosen and he loves you with such a fierceness that even I can't touch. And I trust that in time, he will be your biggest advocate and love.
Birthing a Baby with a Little Something Extra is a 4 week course at The Family room. Our next session starts April 20 and the summer session will begin June 22. We meet on Wednesdays at 6:30pm. More info on Rebecca can be found at her website Sacred Breaths.