Thankfully there had been a big storm overnight and Jeremy called in to work -- the hour drive in roads these bad just wasn't worth it. I was happy to have him home, and happy to have him around on a day when both my little angels needed to get a shot at the doctor.
I hadn't expected Josie to cry, since she never has, even once, when getting a shot. I especially didn't expect it, since she had been talking for two days how she was excited to go to the doctor's office, she was going to get a little poke, and it was no big deal. When we got in the room, she climbed straight up onto the table and said "All ready!"
But then she cried. Big, fat tears. And opened her mouth in a deep, deep wail. I scooped her up and rocked her, and then had to trade off -- giving the big girl to her daddy to hold and taking the baby so I could hold her while she had her turn.
I knew Genevieve would cry. She's not like Josephine, who barely noticed the shots when she was tiny. She feels the pain and cries and cries and can't be consoled.
She got her shot and wailed. I lifted her up to hold her, then took her over to Josie. I told Josephine, "Your sister is sad about the shot." Josie lifted her head off of her father's shoulder, where she had been crying, and looked right in her little sister's eyes, grabbed her chubby little hand, and said, "It's okay baby sister. Don't cry!"
And Genevieve stopped crying. They smiled at each other through their tears, and it was all over. They were both fine.
That moment: Jeremy is holding Josephine and I am holding Genevieve and they are looking at each other with love while Jeremy and I look down at our girls with all the love we had no idea we were capable of having in our hearts -- they're exploding, our hearts! -- I want to freeze that moment and keep it forever.
This is why I ask her to help the baby and talk to the baby and think of the baby's feelings -- not because I want her to feel like her new role in the family is to be the baby's keeper, but because I want her to learn how wonderful it feels to make her sister happy so she will give love freely and get it in return. Like this. This perfect moment where Josephine saw the opportunity to comfort her sister, did it willingly, saw how happy it made her sister, and that, in turn, made her happy.
I still worry that Josephine will feel like she is a helper-to-sister above other roles in her life, and I will work hard to ensure she doesn't feel that is her only role (she is also Much-Loved Smart Funny Beautiful Fearless Angel Daughter of My Dreams), but this is one of the big reasons we wanted more than one kid. That moment, right there. The love between them. I could see it.
I want to keep that moment forever.