When my daughter was a bit younger my son always called her “Bay-ya.” I guess it was his word for baby. I’m not totally sure, and yet, that was how he reffered to his sister- always. Likewise, the rest of the family followed suit. For a time, we all called her Bay-ya.
Then somewhere over the last several months it shifted. Now it’s “Sister.” Sister this, and sister that. Always. He uses it when he’s talking to her, he uses it when he speaking of her to you.
“Sister wants more apple sauce.”
“Sister. Sister. Do you want me to go outside with you?” (He often says it twice. Once to get her attention, once to propose his plan.)
His request is usually followed by her, “Dah” which actually means, “Yeah.” And then they head on together for whatever adventure my son has proposed.
The other morning when we were all laying in bed together, as is our morning ritual, I heard my son call his sister “Atalie” for the one of the first times. It was endearing and sad to me all at once. I realized that eventually there will come a time where I won’t hear, “Sister. Sister!” all day long. That, he, will join the ranks with everyone else and call her by her given name.
So this is my shout out to that lovely, endearing but ephemeral moment of my current mothering experience. Treasuring it now.