Clara and her "bubby" Owen.
Before Clara was born, we frequently talked with Owen about becoming a big brother and what that meant for him. He was only two and half years old at the time, so it was hard to grasp how much he understood; however, he was excited about having a baby sister and handled the transition from the nursery to his big boy room and big boy bed very well. Still, we did not know how he would react once he had to share mommy and daddy with his baby sis.
While he was not sure what to think of Clara the first time he met her in the NICU, he quickly warmed up and wanted to hold her the very next day. Since then he has had a few moments when he asked us to put Clara in the crib because she was tired or to put her in her jumparoo because she wanted to bounce so that he could have our undivided attention (or uninterrupted floor space).
Owen has been the best big brother that we ever could have hoped for. He always wants to help Clara with her "exercises". He offers encouragement when she is working hard to accomplish a new task and generously praises her achievements. Owen often tells his preschool teachers that his little sister is going to grow up to be big and strong. He is also very protective of Clara. During one of our first meetings with the local Down syndrome new parent support group meeting, Clara was laying on a blanket squiggling and squirming and one of the older babies kept trying to crawl over to see her. Owen was concerned about the baby trying to get to his baby sis and made sure that he was a barrier between the two.
It is obvious to Ellen and I that Owen and Clara share a special bond. Clara is always happy to be with her "bubby" and always wants to be involved with anything that Owen is doing. There are many moments when Owen will give Clara a hug and a kiss for no particular reason. We are blessed to have such wonderful children and look forward to observing as their relationship continues to blossom.