When I was pregnant with Sam and before I knew he was a boy, I pondered the idea of what having another girl would mean for our family. We already had a plethora of girl stuff. (Have you seen Ella’s closet?! Ok that’s a post for another day! Hand-me-downs work best when crossing gender lines when it's from boy to girl -- not so much girl to boy). My knowledge and comfort level was stronger with girls than boys. (No clue then how to handle the fountain spray from a boy.)
In all seriousness, the thought I kept toying with was giving Ella the gift of a sister, a relationship and a bond that I longed for many times throughout my childhood. I enjoyed the idea of raising two girls and the collision of all that estrogen.
I do know the joys, and let’s be honest the physical pains, of having a brother. The brother/sister relationship is something worth treasuring, but it’s not like I would invite any of them to hold my hand while giving birth. I like to think if I had a sister, I would have. However, life dealt me a hand with three brothers, and for that I am blessed. My relationships with each of my brothers are unique and unlike the others, but we didn't share clothes or spend hours toiling in the bathroom, and I never went to my brothers asking for dating advice. All this was what I thought Ella could have with a sister. (Yes, it's a Pollyanna perspective on sisterhood but I was raging with hormones.)
In my wishing and hoping for her to have a sister, I had overlooked what having a brother would mean to her. It wasn't until Sam's gender was identified did I acknowledge life with a brother, like maybe she could be his sidekick in his Boy Scouts' magic show. (I had such an honor. I even sported my first dance recital outfit. Photos exist somewhere on said event but I hope they stay tucked safely in photo boxes.)
Of course I worried about Ella accepting a sibling into her life regardless of gender. Would she feel displaced? Would she be jealous that she had to share the spotlight? All normal fears when bearing the second child. Luckily, from the beginning, she was and continues to be an amazing sister.
Fast forward to the other night. We are enjoying a standard evening playing in the neighborhood. Ella and Sam have ventured over to our neighbor’s house where the kids have congregated. One of the boys is playing with a spinner gun -- something you would expect to see at a circus. As my kiddos enter the garage, the boy points it at Sam and casually pretends to shoot him. Ella without skipping a beat, stops dead in her tracks, glares at the boy and sternly states, “Hey, that’s my brother.”
The boy slightly stunned by Ella’s strong reaction shrugs it off. As he changes his focus, Ella walks up to Sam, throws her arms around him and reassures him with a “it’s okay Sammy.” Sam who was unfazed by the gun seemed more startled by Ella’s interference.
As a mom watching this unfold, all I could think about was how happy I am that my kiddos have a mutual adoration and respect for each other. Well, for this week anyway. Ella may never have a sister, but I hope Sam and her always appreciate the gift of each other.