When she was just four or five days old I put Robin beside Heidi on her bed. Heidi snuggled so close to Robin she was almost on top of her. Heidi put her finger in Robin’s hand and gently pulled Robin’s little hand back and forth. Heidi was smiling from ear to ear as I watched them. The funny thing is Robin was also smiling. I don’t care if people say babies don’t smile. Robin was smiling at Heidi and paying full attention to her. I think that was when these sisters began forming a lifelong bond.
Heidi’s bedroom was next to ours. I could see into her bedroom when I was lying on my bed. Heidi knew Robin loved her. She was very attentive and protective of her new baby sister. When Robin was four weeks old we moved her crib into Heidi’s room. We convinced Heidi that Robin would feel safer if she would stay in her room at night. From that night on Heidi slept in her own room with Robin.
Sometimes when Robin would stir and begin to whine for a feeding I could hear Heidi trying to sooth her by gently talking or singing to her. Many times I would lie listening then Heidi would walk into my room and say, “Mom it isn’t working, you’re going to have to feed her again!” She would put great emphasis on the “again” as if eating was all babies ever did.
Every time we left the house we put bonnets or hats on Robin to keep people from asking about her head. This is actually a pretty good picture of the lumps caused at her birth. When she was 6 months old we took her to a specialist in Modesto who told us she might have the lumps for 5-6 years. Of course, as circumstance would have it, one of the lumps began to disappear the next week and both totally disappeared during the next 3 weeks.
I’m happy to say Robin never did quit smiling.
During our first visit to my parent’s house to share Robin I told them of the doctor rubbing Robin’s feet to make her breathe. Dad promptly unwrapped her little feet and rubbed them. From then on every time we visited my parents while she was a baby dad would spend his turn rubbing her feet. As she grew older she would seek him out, shoes and socks in hand, climb on his lap and enjoy her “grandpa time” giggling as he would rub and tickle her feet.
Robin told me Jeff continues the tradition. She said he rubs her feet in the evenings while the two of them enjoy their last hour of the day watching TV with the kids tucked away in their beds.
Robin was the last one of us to see my dad the day he died. She spent her time with him telling him what was going on in the family, how much we missed him at home, and rubbing his feet.