As an only child, I often wished I had a brother or a sister. I envied friends who came from bigger families. I sometimes felt deprived and decided if I ever got married, I would have more than one child.
After I did marry I was soon the young mother of two boys, only eleven months apart. When Joey was almost four and Greg almost three, I was elated to learn that I was expecting a third child.
"I'm praying and hoping this baby will be a little sister that you guys can be big brothers to," I told the boys one day, as my pregnancy became more obvious.
One night, just before I tucked him in, Greg decided to help me in my petition for a girl.
"Dear God, Mom really wants a girl. Could you make sure that it is a girl? And I think it would be nice to have a sister. I hope you're listening, God," he prayed earnestly.
"I think a sister would be nice , too, God," Joey piped up from his corner of the room. "Besides, if it's another boy, this bedroom will get too crowded," he added.
I smiled as I tucked them in and kissed them good night. "Actually, another little brother would be a blessing, too" I added, just before turning off the lights, for it was true.
Andrea was born July 31, 1963, and she was an adorable little girl from day one. Her father and I were elated. Her big brothers stared at her with wonder and became her protectors from the day they first saw her. And as she grew, her big brothers were her idols, as were her three boy cousins. She wanted to be like them, dress like them, and play with Tonka trucks and Hot Wheels and any other boy-toys they played with. Her own toys remained untouched. Dolls were looked at with disdain, and she resisted wearing the cute dresses I bought her in favor of pants and T-shirts. Clearly, the cute little blond daughter I had prayed for was a big-time tomboy, through and through.
When she was almost three, I was determined my little tomboy was going to wear the cute Easter outfit and bonnet I had gotten her for Easter services. Her brothers, almost six and seven by this time, had handsome Easter suits to wear.
"I don't want to wear a dress and a bonnet" Andrea wailed, as I dressed her for church. "I want to wear a suit like Joey and Greg are wearing."
"You're a girl and will dress like a girl for church," I said firmly to my tearful, angelic looking tomboy.
"Well, when I grow up, then I'll be a boy," she retorted, tears rolling down her cheeks.
In the car on the way to church, Greg told Andrea, "God made you a girl, and it's too late to change his mind now, so you might as well get used to it."
"Yeah," Joey piped in. "Besides, you're too cute to be a boy. And we like you being a girl."
She smiled at Greg and Joey through her tears and stopped crying for a change. Her big brothers liked her being a girl!
Soon after that, I enrolled Andrea in dance school where she met other cute little girls. And at her very first recital, when she danced to "Alley Cat" and received a big hand and loud cheers from her brothers, who sat with us in the front row, her pride in being a girl was finally well established.
These days, Andrea is a mom to two beautiful girls and still the cherished sister of two big brothers, whose brotherly devotion is as strong as ever.
From "Chicken Soup for the Soul: Celebrating Brothers and Sisters" copyright 2007.
I hope you enjoyed this little story. Thank you for reading. Have a blessed week, everyone!