I remember being very unsure about having another child after Rylee. And it had nothing to do with Down syndrome and our increased chances for having another child with Ds. My feelings had to do with time and love and balancing life. And I'm sure every single thought I had was one that had run through the mind of every other Mom on the planet who had one child and was contemplating a second. (Or at least the Moms that tend to over-think things like I do.)
When we found out Carter was a boy, I knew I was embarking on very unfamiliar territory (and I'm not just talking about which way to point it when you change a diaper.) My mom has only one sister, and I only have one sister, and Rylee only has one sister... no brothers in the mix. I didn't know what a relationship between a brother and sister would be like... I couldn't picture it, and I definitely knew I couldn't relate to it.
What I've discovered over the last 4 years is that I didn't have to know.
Rylee and Carter have shown me.
A relationship between a brother and sister -- between this brother and sister -- is simple.
* * * * *
Rylee is packing a bag with some toys to take to a friend's house. Carter, Jeremy and I are going to Jordyn's basketball game, and Rylee isn't a fan of the loud buzzer there. Carter is helping her gather some of her favorite baby dolls...
"Wy-lee?" (translation -- Rylee -- R's are still W's in Carter language) "Are you going to be okay without me there? You know I'm not going to be there, right?"
(Since I'm focusing on the positive of this moment, I'll leave out Rylee's response of "Um, yeah..." in a tone that implies, "Of course I'll be fine without you... why the heck wouldn't I be?!")
* * * * *
Rylee earns coins at school all week for good choices, and on Fridays, gets to visit the "school store" to purchase a little trinket or toy.
(getting into the car after school on Friday)
"Wy-lee! Did you go to the store? Did you get me anything?!"
"Yes!" And just like that, she pulls out whatever it was she bought that day, and hands it over.
The first few times she did that, I assumed that she had gotten the toy for herself, played with it a bit at school, got bored with it, and in the very moment Carter asked her, realized she was done with the toy and claimed thoughtfulness of him the whole time.
Then, one Friday, Carter asks her if she has something for him... and she pulls out a little Toy Story toy.
Yup. You go right ahead and claim thoughtfulness the whole time. Because that's exactly what that was.
* * * * *
I guess a brother/sister relationship is a lot like relationships between sisters.
You love each other in a way that is indescribable.
(And, again, in order to focus on the positive love between these two, I'm leaving out the previous 24 pictures of Rylee kissing Carter in which Carter's facial expression is one of complete annoyance that his sister is kissing him, even though it's at Mom's request. Ahhh... I can't wait to watch this relationship grow!)