Violet arrives

Big sister knew she was supposed to be quiet during the church services,
but she had such a big secret, she just had to lean over and whisper to the
thin, elderly lady sitting beside her, “We have a new baby. She’s my
sister.” The lady smiled vaguely, not understanding until the after church
coffee when the birth was announced loudly to one and all.
Then the congregation at St. Basil’s celebrated the Violet Duyen
Hershberger’s birth by singing, “God grant you many years.” She may be the
third child in less than four years, but the advent of life deserves a
celebration. I joined in the song.
Afterwards folks gathered round the proud daddy to ask how mother and child
were doing. Really great, thank you. Eighteen hours after the birth they
had returned home to hold court with friends and relatives bearing gifts,
welcoming the child and asking to hold her.
People like to hold new babies. It isn’t often we get to hold a person so
small they almost fit into one hand. Sometimes a little help is needed. The
first time three-year-old big sister asked to hold the baby, she went up to
her mother, holding her cradled arms tightly against her stomach, ready to
hold her sister.
Momma told her to open up her arms, scoot up on the bed and sit way back.
Only then did momma carefully position the bundled infant in her grinning,
big sister’s arms.
Not everyone was quite so happy or in such a celebratory mood. The upstaged
previous baby of the family, 19-month-old big brother stared wide-eyed at
the new baby. He tried to hold her with mamma’s help and watched as his
momma fed the intruder when she cried to be held, changed, fed and
But that new baby wanted his momma just a bit too much. He was used to
being the center of momma’s world. It was time for bed time stories and
cuddling. Big brother decided, enough was enough. Reaching into the depths
of his still budding vocabulary, he looked at the fussing infant in his
mother’s arms and said, “New baby. Take away.”
I got the baby and showed her the wonders of the world where most
celebrated her arrival.
As the first week progressed big brother learned his sister’s name and
realized he could be helpful as his big sister. One afternoon he pulled the
baby carrier up to his mother holding the fussy infant, and told his
mother, “Violet. Put down.” Her daddy got his turn to hold and soothe the
new baby.
It may take big brother a while to join celebration, but big sister never
stopped celebrating. On Tuesday, she eagerly went to mother’s-day-out with
a fistful of baby pictures for show and tell. The teachers ohhed and ahhed
appropriately. Big sister shared her celebration at having a new sister
with a round of banana nut bread for everyone.
I don’t enough banana bread to share my celebration with everyone, but if
you happen to have access to the Internet, check out the webpage my son
created to celebrate her arrival:
She’s looks pretty good, if you ask me.