March 27, 2014

Eva's Heart

Spring might be rolling around one of these days. . . hopefully.  And with spring comes a dozen fitting occasions to warm up the ovens and start making some Springerle cookies! The butter is softening as I type and the fine cloud of powdered sugar dust that blankets the kitchen is being created as my littlest one starts on her favorite task of sifting.  I treated myself to a couple new cookie molds this season.  Added to my collection is this little beauty. . .

It is called Eva's Heart and the cookie mold dates back to 1710.  I couldn't resist getting it for the name alone.  The beauty and detail of that cookie mold reflects the beauty and intricacies of my own little Eva's heart.

I was going through some old notebooks this past weekend and found one that I had started to record all those cute things my kids say that I know I will forget.   Ahh, yes,one of those mothering ideas that ends up being one of those "grand intentions" that dissolves away after child number 3.  But, for the 2 years I actually used it, it has turned into a priceless treasure of those precious things that came out of my older three children's mouths once upon a time that I did indeed forget.

One of those recorded treasures was a conversation with Eva in the hospital after I had just given birth to Bridger.  Some of my favorite moments of all time are the 4 times I introduced my child/children to their newest sibling.  Eva was the ripe ol' age of three when Bridger was born and she was overjoyed at having her own live baby doll.  She held him and cuddled him, rubbed his little fuzzy head and when it was time for Alan to take the kids back home she announced as she started to walk out with him, "Well, he will just be coming with us now."

I smiled at her and explained to her that Bridger needed to stay in the hospital with mom for one more day.  Her eyes filled with the most sincere, oversized crocodile tears as she protested through her quivering lower lip, "But Mom, I just love him so much."

And so that love continues just as strong 7 years later.

Yesterday morning I went into Bridger's room and under his pillow was a note that Eva had left for the Tooth Fairy on Bridger's behalf.

(note: I quickly purchased a little toy while she was at school and stuck it under his pillow -- which she promptly found for him after she got home from school.)

Alan and I went to a presentation this weekend about the 'blessings and stressings' of being a special needs sibling.  There are very difficult challenges and a constant awareness of emotional health to be mindful of, but the presentation also reiterated that there are many studies that show the unique and amazing qualities that develop in a child that has a sibling with special needs, including a greater compassion and empathy for others compared to a child without a special sibling.  That is Eva.

She is his advocate.  She celebrates him.  She protects him.  She loves him.  And for that, and so much more, I love Eva's Heart.