When my husband and I first decided to have another child, I did something a little presumptuous and impulsive. Without mentioning it to my family, friends or even my husband, I went out and bought an adorable “Big Sister” t-shirt. I mean, I bought it a size ahead. I knew that it took nine months to have a baby. That sweet pink tee with tiny silver lettering would tell my whole family that I was expecting once the time was right. In a couple months, my daughter would wear that size 3T shirt and my mother would burst into tears and throw her arms around me. My dad would beam with joy and happiness. My husband and I would grin at all of them and announce our news formally. This is the vision I had in my head when I bought that damn “Big Sister” shirt.
Well, I just bought 5T clothes for the new school year. And that little pink tee has never been worn. I’m smart enough to hold off on buying anymore, just to see my daughter outgrow them. I haven’t started a collection of the things. But every time I see another “Big Sis” emblazoned across the front of a shirt, I get a little angry. That stupid shirt is laughing in my face.
My first foray into the sibling clothing industry is wadded up in ball at the back of my closet. I couldn’t put it in my daughter’s. What if she found it? What if she wanted to wear it? That shirt is a lie, even if she doesn’t understand it. She’s not a big sister, and I’m trying to face the reality that she might never be.
You would think that I would throw the thing away, but I haven’t. That shirts makes me a little depressed, but it also reminds me of how hopeful and optimistic I was when we first started trying for another child. In those first couple of months, I really believed that it was just a matter of time. The thought never entered my mind that it might not work. I lovingly stared at that t-shirt and imagined it’s big reveal to my family.
Now, I avoid my daughter’s questions about getting a baby brother or sister. I work exceedingly hard to not get my hopes up every month, so that I won’t be depressed when another cycle passes. I’ve lost a lot of that optimism, because it’s just too difficult to come down from. And even though I try not to get my hopes up anymore, it’s nice to have a small reminder of just how excited I was when I began this journey.
“Big Sister” t-shirts aren’t my enemy, but they mean a lot more than I thought a piece of clothing could. The next one I buy might be size 9 or I might just have to give them up all together. Even if I never buy another, I’ll always have one at the back of closet, because I’m just not sure if I’ll ever stop dreaming of the day that my daughter could wear a “Big Sister” shirt.