Of all of our children, we were most unsure of how Moose would react to having a new baby in the house. He knew that a baby was going to come live with us, but beyond on that, we didn’t really know what he understood about that, or what his feelings were.
Nothing could have prepared me, then, for the look of absolute wonder on his face when he came to visit us in the hospital the afternoon she was born. He was so gentle and caring with her, that I knew right then that a special relationship was being formed.
I wasn’t disappointed. When we got home from the hospital, he took on the role of protector. If she cries even a little bit, he is right there, worried about her. When other people are visiting her, even people we know well, he watches over her, and makes sure they don’t get too close, or hold her for too long, (if they are “permitted” to hold her at all!). He checks on her as soon as he gets home from school each day, and asks to hold her and kiss her frequently.
My favorite moment between them, however, came shortly after we got home from the hospital. Chickadee had fallen asleep, so I laid her down in her crib, and slowly made my way downstairs, (stairs are a major exercise after a c-section!). When Moose saw me, he did a double-take, realizing that I wasn’t holding Chickadee. And he immediately asked about it: “Where’s the baby?” I told him that she was in her crib upstairs. He looked completely appalled, and in a very serious voice, said, “By herself?!?”
I love that he was shocked that I would leave her alone upstairs, even in a safe place like her crib. I really love that his default assumption is that Chickadee should always be with me, or the family. And I love most of all the way he watches over her, to make sure she’s OK and loved and not lonely. He never ceases to surprise me, and his love and concern for his new baby sister are one of the best surprises I could have hoped for!