Answering the eternal question - "You don't work? What do you DO all day?"

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

You'd think I'd remember

My younger sister was born when I was 3, and I remember having a very volitile relationship with her when we were little kids. Once we hit like high school and middle school age, it was an outright hostile relationship and we were agreed in our mutual dislike of one another, but when we were little kids, we ran very hot and cold. I remember being very jealous, since people talked all the time about how cute she was, how sweet, blah blah blah. This all sounds pretty standard, doesn't it? We get along fine now, but it took about 25 years to get there.

But being that I'm the older sibbling, you'd think I'd remember more about what Oliver is going through. You'd think I'd be able to muster up more sympathy for him since I know what it's like. But the thing is, I keep hearing that little voice inside my head saying, "But your sister wasn't the little sweetheart that Elliot is." But I'm sure that she was. Which means that I was a pretty rotten little kid to be so angry at my sweet little sister. It wasn't her fault that she was born, after all, and in the beginning that really was her only crime. I just wish I had the magic right words to say to reassure him that just because there's another child in the family doesnt' mean that we love him less. If anything, we love him more because we get to go back and do the baby thing again, and we remember how cute he was as a baby, and we see how cute he is now, and we get excited about seeing Elliot grow, too. But all Oliver sees is that Elliot cries and we pick him up, that he smiles and we smile back, and that he doesn't have our undivided attention any more. And it's too scary to blame mommy and daddy for that, so the only person left to blame is the little smiling interloper who doesn't know what he could possibly have done to have won Oliver wrath (and truthfully, doesn't seem to care all that much, since he is only 6 months old, after all).

And not that it's all tears and terror, we're just having some pronounced bad times. I know it'll all pass and we'll get new challenges and such. I just wish I knew the right thing to do to prevent my boys from having 25 years of bad feelings, like I had with my sister.

1 comment:

Julia O'C said...

Oh, wow, can I ever relate to that post! Poor Violet is just not happy about little Emmett's arrival (almost a year ago!). I wish I had some advice but all I can offer is empathy. I really do believe it will get better when the little guys are older and can play with their siblings.