Monday, February 24, 2014

Big Brother, Little Sister

When Benjamin was born, he was gifted with a little brother shirt. I took some photos and he wore it a few times and then it was over. It's not like I could have him wear it in public without the questionable stares and confused looks from strangers because I don't have the older sibling with me. Ever.

Benjamin and Claire were just gifted two new shirts-- one that says big brother and one that says little sister. These statements are in and of themselves, totally true. Benjamin is definitely Claire's big brother. And she is definitely the little sister. Everyone and anyone who sees my children would be able to identify with this reality.
First picture = marshmallow bribe. Second picture = uncertain. Third picture: Claire meltdown and brother holding her hand to calm her.
I love that there is a big brother/little sister relationship in our house. It's all I've ever known. I was a little sister and had a big brother. My husband is a big brother and had a little sister. And here we are representing the next generation with the same number count-- except not really.

It's obvious to anyone who knows me above a casual acquaintance level that I've had three children. That Benjamin is not just the big brother, but is also the little brother. And that Claire is not only the little sister but is a little sister to two big brothers. Obviously I mourn the loss of that extra t-shirt in so many ways. And yet I know that there probably wouldn't be a little sister at all if the big big brother were alive. But I can't get over that extra t-shirt and how it should be here. I was burned by seeing these shirts out in public after Andrew died and even after Benjamin was born. I wanted so badly to boast such numbers (two kids!), but I literally didn't have the number of carseats to show for it. It broke my heart. It was definitely a grief trigger.

I love that I can be proud of Benjamin and Claire and that they are both alive and able to wear their big brother and little sister shirts. These days are fleeting and they are both growing rapidly. How is Benjamin 24 months old? Preschool is seriously around the corner! The days left for them to proudly sport their love for one another in t-shirt form (even if they are totally unaware) will be long gone and they will soon be pestering one another like brothers and sisters do. But oh, to wonder... what our lives would be like if the four bedrooms upstairs were all filled and there were three t-shirts to hang in three closets representing my three kids.


Anne said... [Reply to comment]

I've been struggling with the whole "three" thing lately, too. I realize this may be (probably will be) our last baby and I find myself fantasizing about what it would be to have to worry about who would share a room with who, and all of the little things we miss out on.
Baby Claire cracks me up- her expressions are so wide-eyed and lively! Something tells me she will have no trouble keeping up with her big brother!!

Laura Jane said... [Reply to comment]

Yup! I'm starting to enjoy dressing the girls in coordinating outfits, the big and the little sister.

But it really, *really* bothers me I can't have the masculine form of the shirt, too. I want my three upstairs bedrooms filled with babies, and I want Jack to be in there, adjusting to life with TWO little sisters terrorizing him.


What beautiful children you have. <3 xox

Caroline said... [Reply to comment]

Mary was given the same onesie and Finn also given a big brother shirt. Finn wore his "little brother" onesie as a newborn, for Cale's birthday and again on Oct 15th. And then that was it. Just hurt too much to ever wear it much. And I'm glad these two can now, but yeah, those shirts will forever been another thing that just can't be sweet and is loaded with some sadness and lots of longing.

Veronica said... [Reply to comment]

I was the same with Theodore and the little brother shirt. I got a Little Brother onesie - sized 3 months - from Daniel's sister when he was born. It touched my heart that she was including Alexander in her gift to Theo. He looked absolutely adorable in it. But I was reminded of how messed up it was that he was wearing it, and Alexander wasn't here. I took a few pix too. I think he wore it out a few times. I was wondering if anyone would ask where the older sibling was... no one did.

I see them in new prints and colours every time I go into Carters/Oshkosh.. and I reach to buy them.. but always change my mind. Maybe i'll feel differently in time... But right now it's too sad for me to have my only child at home sporting a little brother shirt. ugh.

Your kids look adorable. Like, over the top cute.