Even though I was less than five years old, I remember the morning my mom told me she was having another baby. While we were making my bed, I told Mom that I prayed Jesus would give me a baby sister. Mom looked at me kind of funny and told me that she was in fact going to have another baby, although she didn’t know if it would be a boy or a girl.
When Mom and Dad were considering naming a baby girl Elizabeth, I wrinked my nose and said, “No, Jessica.” I didn’t tell them where I heard the name. Jessica is actually Mrs. Clause in the original 1970 Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town claymation TV special. Jessie was born in March, Christmas was right before . . . you do the math :).
I even remember the night Jessie was born. Grandma had been sent to the house in the middle of the night to be with James and I. Of course I couldn’t sleep until Dad peeked into my room to tell us that Mom had a baby girl . . . and they named her Jessica. Jesus gave me the baby sister I was praying for.
Though I’m sure she will tell you, we’ve had our ups and downs through the years, we have maintained a strong bond and in the process have become something so much more than sisters. We’re friends now too. That’s why it has been so special that she’s been able to spend time with us while she is home from her missionary journeys in the Philippines. What is more, I see the bond that Elijah has formed with her and it becomes that much more incredible.
Everything surrounds “Chessie” (as Elijah calls her) right now. It’s pretty precious. He’s been able to spend a lot of time with her over the weeks she’s been back and no matter what kind of mood he’s in, whenever someone mentions Auntie Jessie, he whispers most incredulously “Chessie,” with a huge smile and is pretty much willing to participate in anything from that point forward.
Auntie “Chessie” came over this morning to help make a special monkey cake for Elijah. I made the brownie cake part Friday (from scratch no less!), but Auntie Jessie is the decorating specialist, and spent over two hours on this very special labor of love. I’m including a before and after shot of the monkey.
I just feel so blessed to be able to have these precious moments with Jessie before she goes back in a couple weeks – and that I get to share them with Elijah. I have been blessed with an incredible relationship, not only with Jessie, but my brother James as well. It’s days like today – when I watch my sister bent over the counter for hours, with multiple pastry bags of colored frosting, making the perfect cake for her nephew – that I am reminded of the gift I have in my siblings. It causes me to say a prayer for Elijah and Noah; that they would experience the closeness that I’ve been able to share with my siblings, and that they would be good to each other like we have over the years. Though I probably wouldn’t have said this growing up – I can’t think of anything more valuable to a child than a brother and a sister.