What Love Has to Do with It

Birth order is a funny thing, isn’t it?  Saoirse is such a chill little girl–smart but sensitive, happy yet thoughtful.  And now–now–she has this little (well, not so little) sister tagging along wherever she goes, active and rambunctious and mischievous and affectionate, and sososoSO in love with her big sister she doesn’t want her out of her sight.   It’s like the kid’s a human backpack, and Saoirse’s on the hike of a lifetime.

As soon as she wakes in the morning, Quinn calls out,  “Hi, Mommy!  Hi, Daddy!”  But when you walk into her room to get her out of her crib, the story changes:  “Where’s Shir-sha?  I wan’ Shir-sha.”

Whatever Saoirse is playing with, Quinn wants, even if that means Saoirse can’t  play with it anymore because Quinn has picked up the toy and gone running out of the room with it.

In her car seat, she peeks over to her sister just to see if she can make her giggle.  She hugs her.  She kisses her.  She smacks her in the back of the shoulder for attention, then says “I ruv you.”  She wants to wear Saoirse’s dress-up clothes, and use her hairbrush, and walk around the house with Saoirse’s playschool bucket.

At preschool pick-up, she stands outside the classroom door, grinning, gasping when Saoirse comes running to greet us.

I took Quinn to her music class today–it’s the first “semester” of the program that SK has asked to skip–she didn’t want to do it anymore, she said, because she’d rather join MyGym instead.  The music in this semester is the same as it was during my very first session with Saoirse, way back when she was about 10 or 11 months old.  And every song today reminded me of the two of us–me and Saoirse, this time–singing it together while she was on her changing table, or in the bath, or in the car on long rides.   I got all unexpectedly sentimental today–it was a strange reminder of how quickly time passes by, how life changes even though it seems to stay the same.  And Quinn wasn’t herself today:  she wasn’t as outgoing, not as happy or independent.  I thought that maybe she’s coming down with a cold, but when I was buckling her into her car seat after class, she got this worried look on her face:  “Where’s Shir-sha?”  “You want Saoirse?” I asked her.  “Yeah,” she said.   I told her that Saoirse was in school, but we’d go pick her up right after we went to the store.  “Oh-gay,” Quinn said, and nodded, satisfied.

But as we went to the grocery store, and walked up the aisles, she kept asking again:  “Where’s Shir-sha?”  It’s her big sister, man.  I didn’t have an older sibling, so I identify with SK a bit more.  I wonder how Quinn would behave if she were the older one–how her personality would be different–but then, she’s adorable, and smart, and independent in her own right.  She just has the massive love for her “Shir-sha” that seems to direct her every direction, and that may or may not change.  Looking at Saoirse, though, I figure she could have worse role models in life.  I think we’ll be okay.

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