This week marked a very special birthday in the Menzo house, your big sister Clara's "Golden Birthday"! 11 on the 11th! Ok, So she may have totally made up the whole "Golden Birthday" thing, but it seemed reasonable and kinda cute so we happily embraced it!
It was 11 years ago that daddy and I took on our new identities of becoming "mom and dad"! The excitement and apprehension of what was to come...I remember it like it was yesterday. What I didn't think of at the time, was the adventure that your big sister was about to take being our 1st blessing in this world. In just a few short years, she too would face similar feelings as mommy and daddy did, with excitement and perhaps apprehension of what was to come on her new "big sister" identity!
I'm pretty sure that (as with parenting) there's nothing that can really prepare you for becoming an older sibling. All of a sudden you have to share your parents with this tiny little human that can't seem to do anything for themselves, and is seriously crying all the time (Gabe had horrible reflux - there were lots of tears)! But let me tell ya something, your sister seemed to be an absolute rockstar at this whole big sister gig! We hit the jack pot Addie! She's amazing!
She was first introduced into her starring new role when your older brother Gabe was born. She was young and I'm pretty sure she just kinda thought maybe he was visiting??? As time went on she came to the realization that he was indeed a new member of our dream team...here to stay if you will and embraced his existence. That little baby boy would soon become her new BFF or real life baby doll :) Either way she loved being the big sister!
Jumping ahead a bit - over the next few years we would move multiple times and they would start new schools...A feeling that can be quite lonely and scary, but through it all, they always had each other. This really solidified there relationship of not only being siblings, but truly friends.
After we were settled into our family of four, we would discover we'd be needing a table for a party of 5. That's when we welcomed you into this beautiful world! Clara was excited and went straight to work showing Gabe the ropes on his new role! With the hustle and bustle of our busy lives we would eventually come to realize that you had some "different abilities" and the big sister role she had grown accustom to would be a little different this time around.
She would add a new word to her vocabulary: Autism - and then go on to become an expert on how to describe it to others.
She would see and learn patience to a degree that some adults don't even possess.
She would witness such extraordinary joy in the smallest of milestones.
She would get a front row seat to my exhaustion and even try to comfort me when we've had those days where nothing seems to be working.
Her maternal instincts will have kicked in much sooner than most, in an effort to protect you.
She will unfortunately be on the wrong side of "fight or flight" moments and take a Mike Tyson swing unexpectedly.
She will become a pro at anticipating your needs and an expert at loving you.
She will try (and indeed succeed) at finding a true sisterly bond not through language, but through tickles, laughter and a pink square here and there ;)
She's an amazing example of just how to be, Addie. Living a life of kindness to others and a full loving heart!
So yes, this week we celebrated a "Golden Birthday" for your big sister Clara, and it was very fitting...for she truly has a heart of gold!
She loves you Addie, she loves you very much.