After she’s dressed, after I’ve placed the bow in her hair to hold back her curls, after she’s eaten her breakfast (way too slowly), and after she’s brushed her teeth until they’re shiny and clean, Isabelle has a choice to make. She can play in her play room or help me wake up Ari. Nearly every day she chooses to come into Ari’s room — with me — to wake him up so we can get him ready for the car ride to school.
We enter Ari’s room quietly. Isabelle uses a gentle voice to greet her brother while I take him out of his sleep sack. If we have time to spare, she rocks him in his glider after I change his clothes and his diaper. Then, she sits beside him and holds his hand as I administer his Prevacid (acid-suppression medicine). Sometimes Isabelle takes out a book and reads to Ari as I finish getting ready. Other mornings, like this one, she hugs and kisses him. She tells him, “Ari you’re so loved.” And she means it. He is so loved by all of us.
As an only child, I don’t believe any kid needs a sibling. However, I think Isabelle’s life is richer now that Ari is part of our family. She adores her baby brother. She amazes me every day with how kind she is to him. While I know they will grow up and argue with each other (as all normal siblings do), it is my hope she’ll always care for him as much as she does right now.