Friday, January 16, 2015

Dear Kind Stranger

Dear Kind Stranger,

Let me tell you, I love when people come up and speak to my children.  I adore showing off my sweet and gorgeous babies.  It's super awesome for them to have interaction with polite and safe strangers. 

But - please notice: I have two children, not just one.  I have a sweet older boy standing there too.  He's not as tiny and adorable as my baby, that's true.  But he's special and amazing in his own way. And every time a sweet old person comes up to us to speak and admire my baby, my older boy feels just a bit sad and left out. He's looking up at you, smiling hopefully, waiting to hear you speak to him too.  And you don't have to see his eyes downcast, his shoulders droop when yet another person walks away without acknowledging him.

You know, it's hard being an older sibling.  Greater expectations.  Things your baby brother can do but you're not allowed to.  Tiny hands reaching up and tearing apart carefully constructed Lego creations or block towers. Demanding cries to be fed interrupting special one on one reading time.  Babies by nature need more attention, and that's usually the one thing kids feel the most neglected with.

So, if you stop to admire or compliment my baby, take just a second to speak to my older son too.  Don't just ask him about being a big brother - he's so much more than just a brother.  Notice how quietly he's waiting in a long line, and tell him that.  Strike up a conversation about the ninja turtle stuffed animal he's holding.  Ask him if he goes to school yet, and what his favorite part of that is.  Help me to show him that he's just as special and wonderful as his baby brother, even though its in different ways.

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