This week you decided you were, in fact, going to have a brother.
And that you are going to teach him how to jump. And how to play with puzzles. And how to eat doughnuts -- because there IS a preferred way to eat them that requires substantial face-washing elbow grease be administered by an adult-type being afterward.
You ask so often if your "brother is coming yet" that it seems as if we're on a months-long car ride to the grocery store.
"Is he is here yet?"
"Not yet, honey."
"Well, is he here NOW?"
"No, hon. Your brother isn't supposed to arrive until summer."
"When is that?"
"That's when Ama Linda travels from her house in Minnesota to her house in Maine; when the lettuce grows in her garden and when the wild blueberries start to sprout on the bush in her yard."
"Is that a long time away?"
"It won't be too long."
I have no doubt you will be a good and loving sister.
You have already made special Valentines and the generous offer of a space in your room for your brother.
You are always on the lookout for babies then making special efforts to tell their mommies that you are getting a baby, too. You smile broadly when they congratulate you.
I wish I could put myself in your world, Ittybit, because it’s a wonderful place.
Until you learn differently everything is soft and joyous and easy. Explanations are simple and straightforward, and follow a logical progression completely. It's shocking, at times, that they aren’t really logical: Why shouldn't it be true that if you will grow up to be a mommy that I could grow down and be your baby?
But then I realize that the more you learn the less magical it will all seem.
When your new brother appears, you will learn a new set of realities. Your parents will be sleep deprived again as we find ourselves awake at all hours; stubbing our toes as we grope through the darkness to turn on a light. Our patience will be tested, and I know there are times we will not make the grade. We're going to be saying that word we’re not supposed to say.
But we've been here before. This is your first time.
I was reminded of this when you told me last night that your brother won’t cry because he'll have you. And while I know it won't be because of you, I assure you, dear girl, he will cry wet, heartbreaking tears, just as you sometimes do.
I know you're going to learn fast, though. And I have no doubt you’ll be teaching us a thing or two, too.