When Family Moments Don't Go As Planned

I’m pleased to share the news that my fourth grandchild, Ashton John, was born last week. We arrived at the hospital just after he was born, and because both mother and son were doing great, we all got to meet and hold Ashton and welcome him to the family. After a while, the only person left to be introduced to Ashton was his sister Coraline, my 18-month-old granddaughter.
 
Coraline had already heard a lot about her baby brother. For months, her mom had been pointing to her belly and saying "This is your brother." If someone asked Coraline where her brother was, she would immediately point to her mom’s belly. And now it was time for her to meet him in person, so her dad brought her into the room.
 
She was very quiet as she cautiously walked over to the bed. She stopped and stared. After some encouragement, she climbed up onto the bed next to her mom and gently placed her small hand on her new brother. She even began to caress him and smile.
 
All of a sudden, the baby started to cry and Coraline screamed! She quickly climbed off the bed and ran into her father's arms. All she could do was point toward the exit door, trying to get her father to take her out of the room. The adults in the room couldn't help but laugh at her response, but I could see the disappointment in my daughter's face. The meeting hadn’t gone go as she had hoped.
 
In truth, Coraline’s response was a surprise to all of us. Her parents had done their best to prepare their first child for the arrival of the second, and they honestly believed Coraline was going to be fine.
 
I’m happy to report that since that day Coraline has calmed and has now taken a great interest in her new baby brother. I guess her first response to him was just real life evidence that even when we do our best with our children, they can still surprise us with an unexpected response. When that happens, we’d be doing ourselves a favor to remember that even though we can’t predict or control every reaction our child is going to have, we can still be there to help them get through it.

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