The Power of Babies
I can still remember hearing the rumble of the garage door closing despite my groggy state. I grabbed some shoes and tumbled through the kitchen, flung the door open, and re-opened the garage door. The engine was warming up in the driveway. "Wait," I called out frantically. "I'm coming with you!"
It was nearly 2 a.m. on Saturday, April 3, 1999, and my parents were about to go to the hospital. Five years later my memory of that day hasn't faded. At thirteen and a half, I would soon become what I'd always dreamt of being: a big sister.
Excruciatingly long, cold hours in St. David's Hospital seemed to melt away at exactly 10:00 in the morning when my little brother, Alvand Kia Moini, was finally born. Nervous and jittery, I recall holding him for the first time and being the first person to ever see his beautiful brown eyes open to the world. Whenever asked about the best day of my life, I always recount this story.
Clearly, my brother claims a huge portion of my heart. His importance in my life began even before he was born,though. After more than thirteen years of living with just my mom, dad, and cat, I felt more than ready for this exciting addition to my life. Because I anticipated my brother's birth so much, it was very important to me to be involved. From the time I learned my mother was pregnant, I immersed myself in Baby World. I soaked up information from a myriad of baby books, countless websites, Parent magazine, and the like. I knew what items we would need and accompanied my mother on every shopping trip to get everything from the perfect bib to crib liners and safety locks. We visited at least 15 day-care facilities around our home in anticipation of his first day away from home and drew up a meticulous analysis of each after the visit.
The hours spent researching and gathering information did not stop when Alvand was born. At the grocery store, I knew which foods were safe and vital at each age and became attuned to Alvand's personal preferences to pick out the most nutritious and delicious foods for him. Records of his first smile, first words, and neck strength flood my calendars and scrapbooks.
I quickly found that the more time I spent with Alvand,the happier and more complete I became. Learning about kids his age and his expected developments made watching him excel increasingly exciting. Helping him discover the world sustained me.
Because both my parents work, I cared for him over the summers, and when I was old enough to drive, I picked him up from day care. We soon developed our routine: number one, take off socks and shoes; number two, go potty; number three, eat some fruit, and so on. Alvand listened to most of what I said to him; a special bond began growing between the two of us that was unlike anything I'd experienced with friends or even my parents. Even when he was very young, I recall joking with him. When he first began...