To my beautiful girls,
Neither of you will remember but the connection you've created in these first few months of Iris's life is amazing. Abbey, you try so hard to help your baby sister be happy. You're gentle and caring and so considerate, always interested in what she's doing and how you can help. Iris, you save your biggest smiles and widest eyes for your big sister and you're never happier than when she talks to you or plays near you. I think you've started moving around so quickly because you're excited about being able to play with Abbey as soon as possible!
You're sisters, and you will be for the rest of your lives. That's something special, a relationship you need to nurture forever. You'll have friends, you'll fall in love and you might have children - but your sister knows you in a way that's different to any of those people. That's worth treasuring...
Put each other first as you're growing up. You'll need to know that someone is always in your corner, ready to listen and stick up for you.
Look out for each other - always.
You'll argue and bicker. If you're like your Aunty Kate and me, you'll do things like weigh your food portions to ensure you've been given the same, and fight over whose turn it is to sit in the front seat of the car. That's normal - you can't live with someone and not get annoyed at them occasionally. But move on quickly, and look for the good in each other (and that's easy to find in you two).
Laugh together. Lots.
Try to understand each other. You're both so different, I can see that already - embrace those differences, don't let them form a barrier between you. Understand, don't judge.
Stay in touch. Call each other when you're apart, talk about your lives.
Be honest, safe in the knowledge that you won't be judged or laughed at. Just be an ear to listen, a shoulder to lean on, and an ally to find the funny side of life with.
Make each other proud, and be each other's greatest supporters as you win and lose at your attempts throughout life.
Don't compete against each other.
Be friends. You've known each other since Iris was just a couple of minutes old - you cuddled each other even before I held Iris. Sisters are friends that have always and will always be there.
Know that you're both loved equally. Your Dad and I see each of you for your own strengths, weaknesses and fragilities - and we will always love you for every one of those.
I can't wait to see how you add to that list over the years, making this sister thing your own and stamping your personalities all over it.
All my love,