“Kyra, didn’t I tell you to pick your toys up from the living room floor and bring them upstairs to your bedroom?”
Audrey said to her daughter.
Kyra didn’t budge from the sofa, where she sat watching cartoons.
Audrey picked up the remote control and shut off the TV. “No more TV until you’ve picked up your toys and put them away in your bedroom.
“But, I can’t do it by myself,” Kyra whined.
“Stop whining, Kyra!” Audrey said firmly. “You’re not a baby anymore. You’ve picked up your toys by yourself before. I don’t know what’s gotten into you lately.”
“I’m too tired to pick up all my toys.”
“Well, start picking them up, and then take a break for a few minutes.”
“Why won’t you help me?” Kyra complained.
“As I’ve told you before,” Audrey patiently explained,” I’m going to have a baby in a couple of weeks. I can’t be bending down to pick up your toys. So, you’re going to have to pick them up yourself.”
“But, it’s not fair!” Kyra said angrily.
“I told you earlier, don’t empty out your toy box, or you’ll have a lot of toys to put away later,” Audrey reminded her. “But you insisted on taking out all your toys and bringing them downstairs to the living room.”
“I wanted to play with them all,” Kyra said, pouting.
“Well, next time, take out only a few of your toys, and then you won’t have so many to pick up afterward,” Audrey stated. “I’ll be back in ten minutes, and I expect to see fewer toys here.”
Audrey returned to the kitchen to check on the peanut-butter cookies she had left baking in the oven.
“It’s not fair!” Kyra grumbled. “Because the baby is in Mama’s belly, Mama doesn’t pick up toys or let me sit on her lap. She says that when the baby comes, I’ll have to be the big sister. I won’t be her baby anymore.”
Kyra picked up her teddy bear and held it tightly. “Well, at least I still have you, Teddy.”
By the time Kyra had brought all her toys up to her bedroom and put them away in her toy box, the two dozen cookies Audrey had baked were done.
“Kyra,” Audrey called. “Come downstairs, the cookies are ready.”
Kyra raced down the stairs and sat down at the kitchen table.
As mother and daughter enjoyed chocolate milk and peanut-butter cookies, Audrey thought about how different life would be for Kyra after the baby arrived.
“Kyra, when your little sister, Kasi, is born, I’ll need your help to take care of her.”
“You will?” Kyra asked.
“Yes, you’ll be my special helper. You’ll help me when I change her diapers and give her a bath,” Audrey explained.
“Will she take a bath with me in the bathtub?”
“No, she’ll be too tiny. We’ll bathe her in a little basin,” Audrey replied. “At first, I’ll feed her, but when she gets bigger, you’ll be able to feed her.”
“My friend Jessie says that babies cry a lot,” Kyra stated.
“That’s because a baby can’t talk yet,” Audrey responded. “So, when she’s hungry or tired, or when her diaper needs to be changed, she can’t tell anyone what’s bothering her, so she cries.”
“Jessie told me that since her little brother was born, her mother hardly ever plays with her.”
“Well, a baby does require a lot of attention . . . but you’ll be busier, too, because you’ll be helping me with Kasi.”
“Mama, when the baby comes, will you still love me?”
“Of course, I’ll still love you, Kyra! Nothing could ever make me stop loving you!” Audrey hugged her. “You are a precious gift from God to us, and Kasi will also be a precious gift from Him. Your dad and I have more than enough love to love you both very much.”
Several days later, Kyra’s grandmother met her at school.
“Your little sister has arrived,” she announced. “Would you like to go to the hospital to see her?”
When Kyra saw her mother sitting in bed holding Kasi, she exclaimed, “Mama, I didn’t know she’d be so tiny!”
“Come, sit next to me, Kyra,” said Audrey.
Steven helped his daughter climb up on the bed. “Well, what do you think of your little sister?” he asked.
“She’s cute . . . How long before she’ll be able to play dolls with me?”
“You’ll have to wait a while,” Audrey laughed. “Give her a little time to grow.”
A few weeks later, the family attended church. When Pastor Johnson announced, “Today we will dedicate the Swensens’ new baby to the Lord,” the family went up to the front of the church.
“Kyra Elizabeth, God loves you,” Pastor Johnson said, as he took her hand.
Kyra grinned. “I help take care of Kasi,” she said proudly. “She’s my baby sister.”
Pastor Johnson smiled. Then, he took the baby in his arms and prayed. “Father, we dedicate Kasi Kendall Swensen to You. We pray that at an early age she will accept Jesus as her Savior. Protect her and guide her every day of her life. Help her parents, Audrey and Steven, to raise her to love You and serve You. May they be examples of godliness, faithfulness, and compassion. And help Kyra to set a good example for Kasi, too, as she helps her parents care for this precious baby. We pray these things in Jesus’ name. Amen.”
After the service, all Kyra’s friends wanted to see Kasi.
“What’s it like being a big sister?” Carson asked.
“I help my mother take care of her,” Kyra responded. “I help dress her.”
“Is it like dressing a doll?” Zoe asked.
“Yeah,” Kyra replied, “except I have to be more careful with Kasi because she’s a real baby. And if I dropped her, she would get hurt.”
“Does your mother let you hold her?” Maddie questioned.
“You have to hold a baby in a very special way. My mother taught me how,” Kyra said proudly. “When I’m sitting down next to my mother, she lets me hold Kasi.”
“My mother says that babies are a lot of work!” Brooke stated.
“My mother works hard taking care of Kasi, and I help her. But she’s worth it. I’m glad God gave her to us. . . . Being a big sister is fun!” exclaimed Kyra.