I am a big sister to an amazing woman. Growing up, we definitely had our differences. With four years between us, we never really were quite in the same world until we were adults. When I was in elementary, she was a toddler. In middle school, she was a child. In high school, she was a tween. But, she was still my little sister. I still loved her - and we did have great moments together in between our bickering. When I was old enough to watch her while my parents went out, we would always work together to clean the downstairs for them. Once, we decided to bake them a cake. Being our extremely intelligent 12 and 8 year old selves, we made frosting out of crisco and food coloring. Because... isn't that how you make frosting? We played in our backyard together. Our tree house had our names carved above the door. Once, after my mom had purchased the very rare package of Oreos, I came downstairs for a cookie snack only to find the box of cookies open and all of the cream scraped from each and every one of them. My little sister had created a softball sized wad and was eating it in the recliner like an apple. I am pretty sure she was on my list for quite a while after that. Sibling rivalry is a sacred bond. It really is. And only people with siblings truly understand that.
I had always envisioned having two kids. Maybe it's because I come from a family with two kids, or maybe it's just because that's what I thought I could handle. Either way, two was my limit. And I do have two kids. I have two beautiful little girls. Mike and I have decided we aren't going to try to have any more children. For various reasons, but mostly because pregnancy is so hard on me physically and both of us emotionally. Something I am really having trouble coming to terms with is the fact that, although she isn't one, Piper is going to grow up being an only child. She has an older sister, but will never experience what that's like. Kenley will be loved and spoken of often, but she will always be Stardust. She will always be a whispy memory passed down to Piper in stories. She will always be an eternal black and white baby, still and silent in four framed photographs. That breaks my heart more than you can imagine.
I want my daughters to be able to play together. I want Kenley to know how annoying it is to have a little sister rummage through her closet. I want Piper to know how comforting it is knowing her big sister has been through what she's going through and can show her the ropes. I want Piper to wish she could go with her big sister when Kenley heads off to kindergarten. I want Kenley to hold Piper's hand the next year when they go to school together. I want them to grow up and realize the best friend they could ask for lived under the same roof as they did all that time. I want so many things for my girls that they will never have.
Instead, I have to figure out a healthy and natural way for my youngest to know her sister. Instead, I have to worry about other kids thinking she's weird if she talks too much about her big sister who died. Instead, I have to watch her miss out on having a sibling here with her. Instead, I have to have my gut punched over and over again when someone assumes she's an only.
To be clear, I don't think there's anything wrong with being an only child. Mike's an only - and he turned out pretty great. Only children tend to be confident and independent - two things I very much want for Piper. But, the fact remains, she's not an only. She will have the experiences of one, but she isn't one.
As someone who whole-heartedly believes in being the most honest self you can, this is a very difficult concept for me. It upsets me greatly. Maybe you can't understand why. Maybe you think, "Well, you can always change your mind about having more kids." The thing is, I don't want more children. I don't want to be pregnant again. I don't want to adopt. The only reason I would have more children would be to give Piper a sibling, and I really don't think that's a good enough reason to have them. It makes me feel extremely selfish, but it's the way it is. Our family is done.
Piper will grow up being an only child, but not. And my sadness not only comes from not having both of my girls together, but in depriving Piper of the type of relationship that is so important to me personally. My sister has become my greatest advocate and best friend, and it hurts that Piper and Kenley won't get that. It hurts that Piper will live her life without her sister and they won't get to know each other like they should
To be blunt, it just sucks. One more thing to suck in a long list of things that suck.
Two years have passed since we said hello and goodbye to Kenley. Two years. As time has passed, and our family has expanded, I have begun to realize very clearly that I am not the only one missing out on that beautiful dark haired little girl.
This little girl is too