This year has held some big changes for you, hasn't it girl? Potty-training, big girl bed, good-bye bink, and now becoming a big sister! That's a lot of change for you and it hasn't always been smooth. But I've been so proud you at each step as you bravely step into big girl shoes. Or more appropriately into big girl undies!
The other day you announced your intentions to go to the bathroom and I marveled at how far we've come from the days when I wondered if you would ever poop anywhere other than your diaper. And as we get ready to put up the crib in Faith's room, I've thought often about how hard it was for you to adjust to sleeping in your big girl bed.
Our most recent hurdle - getting rid of your bink - was probably our most difficult. I think it was a different level of grief for you because we didn't have anything to replace it. You exchanged your crib for a big girl bed, your diapers for princess undies. But with the bink, there wasn't anything that could take its place. (Believe me, I prayed and prayed that you wouldn't start sucking your thumb! I've heard of kids doing that!)
We did a lot of prepping for the big transition - we talked about it for weeks. After some research and interviewing of other moms, we decided to go with the Bink Fairy strategy. We told you that the Bink Fairy would come and take your binks to give to another baby who needed them and that she would leave you a gift.
The week before we made a paper chain to count down the days until the Bink Fairy came.
When you woke up from your nap on The Day, I snapped a few last pictures of you with your bink. And, okay, I'll admit I cried a little. It was your last bit of baby. I'm still a little sad about it.
We put your binks in a basket and set them out on the front porch with the note. And then came the hard part. We closed the door and it suddenly hit you that your binks were on the wrong side of the door. You politely objected. We explained the plan again. You whined a bit. We explained again. Your whining graduated to whimpering. We sympathized and consoled. Soon you dissolved into grieved tears wailing, "My biiiiink! My biiiiiiiiiiiiiink!"
I cried with you, whispered consolations and encouragements to you and prayed that Jesus would comfort your heart as you processed your first real loss. I sensed the panic that loss brings - the "what's next? What else will get taken from me?" kind of fear. So I listed off things that wouldn't change, the things you could count on. I told you that you would always have Lambie and Snuggle (heck, you can bring them to college if you want! I kinda hope you do.) and that Jesus would help you find another way to soothe yourself.
That first night you cried yourself to sleep in my arms. Nap the next day was even harder. But gradually you asked for your binks less, cried for shorter periods of time and one day I realized it had been several days since they had even mentioned them.
I'm so proud of you. I have dreaded each big transition and marveled at how resilient and brave you are. I know that this next big hurdle - from Only to Oldest - will be difficult, but it will be wonderful and beautiful, too. I know that you will amaze me at your ability to adapt, at your Big Sister instincts, and at how easily you come to love and adore your little sister.
I'm so glad I get to be the one to watch these changes happen. It's an honor to be your mommy.