I can’t believe my sister, Leah is 25 years old now. I tell her every year on her birthday that I remember the day she was born as if it were yesterday. It was a great day. I can vividly recall driving to and from the hospital (our mother had been induced on Monday, March 5) with our dad as he played out loud with different girl’s names: Kara Leah, Leah Kara, Kara Alexandra. It was a special time. Leah Alexandra finally made her arrival on Wednesday, March 7; and as I anxiously waited for news in our mother’s recovery room, I had my Walkman on listening to Paul McCartney’s Pipes of Peace and the moment I heard you were born, the song The Man played. I love these lyrics:
And it’s just the way he thought it would be
’cause the day has come for him to be free
then he laughs, he kicks and rolls up his sleeves
I’m alive and I’m here forever
This is the man
I think it’s the line, I’m alive and here forever in particular that stood out to me because it is such a strong declaration and at that very moment, a new wonderful little person was being brought into our world and she wasn’t going to go anywhere, she was here forever.
Aside from a few babysitting jobs in middle school, most of my experience with babies comes from having a little sister. I had held a baby before Leah, but she was my first diaper change, burp, bath, and feeding. I learned a lot about parenting and babies by helping our mom and dad care for little Leah and I enjoyed every minute, even the late nights of babysitting. After all, to me she was a living doll.
Over the years the age difference between us has either seemed far too great or has actually felt like it has shortened. Today, we have more in common than you might think and laugh at the same jokes. As completely frustrating as my little sister may be at times, I honestly don’t know what I would do without her in my life. She has a heart of gold, is honest and true and has a naivete that will melt your heart.
I have definitely struggled with being Leah’s surrogate parent over the years, but know that now, I’m all she has and vice versa. We are family. I worry about her just like a parent would, but know that it is okay for her to make mistakes as she finds her way in this world.
Your aunt Leah just spent a week with us and not only is she amazing with you, she’s really fun to be around. It was SO nice to have another set of hands, eyes, and ears to help out and we already miss her. Lucas, you are so lucky to have such a wonderful role model in your life and I’m really looking forward to her living closer next year!
The best is yet to be.