Being a parent is hard, but I'm thankful for Ellie's recent demonstration that we're doing something right. She's a great big sister.
Ellie had a snotty nose and a cough, nothing terrible, but enough to make her slightly miserable. Early in the morning, she was sitting with me in her bedroom, snuggled on my lap.
Caroline started to cry. We both paused, noticing the sound. "What's that?" I asked Ellie, anticipating her frustration. Her time with Mommy was about to be interrupted. I was pleasantly surprised with her response.
"Caroline is crying! I'll go take care of her!" And she ran off to comfort her little sister.
I don't have nearly as many photos of Caroline as I did of Ellie at that age. Part of it is having two kids, and an equal issue is that Caroline prefers the baby carrier to the stroller - I'm challenged to photograph a child who is always strapped to me. But even without photographic evidence, I forget the love Caroline feels. When Ellie was diagnosed, I wondered if future siblings might feel burdened by her special needs. Caroline may someday, but I anticipate a pretty typical sister relationship.
Oh, and for a great encouragement having an oldest with Down syndrome, go read http://www.confessionsofthechromosomallyenhanced.com. The author has a big sister with Down syndrome. She and her husband adopted a little girl with Down syndrome and went on to have two more typical little girls.