My Bookend Sisters.

Before we found out we were expecting Mabel, I had a recurring daydream about what a 4th baby would look like in our family. For whatever reason, I always envisioned Ivy confidently holding this hypothetical baby on her hip, with her tiny legs, knobby knees, and her signature well-loved Birkenstocks beneath her, supporting them both. I loved this image my mind had created, and I had a feeling that a little baby brother or sister to help take after would really light something up inside of Ivy. For once I was right about something, and these two have had such a special bond since day one. Watching Ivy love on Mabel in such a caring, maternal way this year has been so heartwarming. (And helpful, I don't know how we'd do it without Ivy!)

It makes me think back to some of my favorite memories with my oldest sister, and it makes me even more excited about their 10 year age difference. Being an 8 year old girl I got to help my sister pick out a Winter Formal dress, and I got to send handwritten letters (and quarters for the laundromat!) to her weekly while she was away at college. I got to brag to other kids in elementary school that I was an aunt (!), and when I was in junior high, I got to fly out to her house after she had a newborn to entertain her busy toddler for a week. 

Ivy tells me daily that she can't wait to "drive Mabes around one day", and that she "would do anything for Maybe" and it's truly the stuff Mom Dreams are made of. I guess what I'm saying is, there's really no such thing as too big of an age gap when it comes to siblings. Like all relationships in life, they're going to be close or they're not. You just have to do your best and cross your fingers that they are.

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