In first person… Two big sisters nurture baby through bottle crisis

The day after Yom Kippur last year, three generations gathered to share stories of my nieces — Rachel Rose, now 15, Kira Eve, now 13, and Hannah Lys, now 9.

We remembered when Hannah gave up her bottle. At first she was proud, even calling her zayde and bubbe in Chicago to tell them she was a "big girl" now. But after a few hours the reality of no more bottles hit hard, and Hannah became a puddle of tears on the living room carpet.

At first, Kira, who had recently stopped sucking her thumb thanks to the wonders of modern dentistry, patted Hannah gently. Kira shared with Hannah her own suffering when she was forced to stop sucking her thumb. Hannah's tears and cries slowed down but did not stop.

Then Rachel went to Hannah. Rachel sat down next to Hannah and said, "Hannah, the angels have taken all your bottles for safe keeping. They are holding them for you. When you have a little girl of your own they will bring them back for your little girl." Hannah looked up at the ceiling. She stopped crying. It was over. This seems to be what Hannah needed.