there is something beautiful happening as emery sees my belly grow. it's deeper than just knowing there's a baby coming, it's her captivation. her obsession. her all-day-long fascination with all things having to do with "her" baby. she is already taking on the role of caretaker as she hugs and kisses my belly over and over again throughout the day.
she talks to the baby, reads to the baby, tells the baby stories, asks it questions and treats her smallest sibling as if they are sitting at the dinner table with us. she can't go to sleep without saying goodnight to the baby, and when she is sad or upset, she wants to sit with her hand on my belly and gently lay next to "her baby."
she has taken on a new obsession with one of her dolls, as well. (find it here)
her doll is never far from her, especially as she sleeps.
it's downright adorable.
i believe God is doing something large within her healing. allowing her the opportunity to give the love and care she wasn't given during her start to life. to be a part of nurturing and holding and feeding...the things she was denied...she will be able to give. it's a sobering thought.
God has been preparing her in a special way, before we even knew a baby was coming.
around october of this past year, emery started asking me if i had a baby in my belly. i chocked it up to the fact that my mid section seems never to return to it's previous pre-pregnancy state and told her that i didn't have any babies in my belly.
the next day, she asked the same thing.
and again and again.
every day, she asked me.
every day, i told her, "no sweetie, God hasn't given mommy a baby in her belly."
lo and behold, after weeks of her repetitive asking, i actually did have a baby inside. and somehow, she knew it.
it was clear that God had planned to get her on board first, even before anyone else.
i also began to notice emery's obsession with being a "big girl."
for the past few years, a lot of people have commented on how small she is. how tiny. how petite. and while it's true, she is tiny, she carries herself taller lately. i sometimes forget she is only 3 years old when i watch her happily take on big-girl responsibilities like loading the dishwasher and folding laundry. she constantly looks for areas that she can be identified with being big. older. grown up. not small in the least.
"emmy big, mama. emmy help everyone. emmy big girl. emmy stay dry in bed. emmy get dressed. emmy brush teeth..." and so on.
she daily lists the things she can do on her own, and we daily affirm her in the many things she does well.
but emotionally, she can still be oh-so fragile. there are plenty of moments that she crumbles when things don't go as planned and i hold her like she's a wee babe again. i never tell her to be big in those moments, but always allow her smallness to be ok. her beautiful, tender spirit beneath her big girl expressions is something that i love having the opportunity to be present in.
there is a tender balance happening within my sweet girl, a common one for her age, but i see it deeper and more profound than i did with her brothers.
i pray over the coming months as i know our new baby will bring about new questions. new realizations. new comparisons about her birth and her sibling's birth. i pray over her tender heart and her sweet, sweet spirit.
but most of all, i'm so thankful for her attachment to a baby she hasn't met. a baby she can't see or feel. she has been captured by this little one in a beautiful way i could have never expected.