It’s not often that a child sheds a tear while reading. Although most books suited to young readers strive to teach a lesson, it’s not usually a lesson that causes such a show of emotion. But ten-year-old Ariana couldn’t hold back the tears while reading a book that her parents gave her – and for a very good reason.
While Ariana had little clue what she was about to read, her parents certainly did. Her father pointed a camera directly at his daughter, who was sat at the family’s dining table. “You’re going to read a book out loud, okay?” her mother said from out of shot.
Ariana looked confused, so her mom repeated the instructions. “Daddy and Mommy wrote you a book,” she explained. “So you’re going to read everything we wrote on it, okay?” And her dad reiterated that she had to read it aloud, so that they could hear the story.
“My New Best Friend. Author, Mommy. Illustrator, Daddy,” Ariana read out loudly and clearly. She then flipped open the book’s first page, where her mother had written a dedication to her only child. “This special book was made for a very special daughter,” it read.
Ariana turned the page and got into the story. She still had no idea what she was about to read – or what she was going to find out. “I know it’s been a long journey just you by yourself,” she read aloud. “Only Mommy and Daddy all to yourself.” And the accompanying picture drawn by her father showed all three family members holding hands.
The story continued on the next page. “With so many adventures you can tell,” Ariana read out. “I can’t wait to hear, so please, please do tell.” But there was no clue as to who it was who wanted to hear the ten-year-old’s stories.
And that mystery character had more to say about the little girl reading the book. The next page read, “I hear you’re smart and kind, with a heart full of love. It’s all I could wish from up above.”
“Someone to look up to and teach me new things,” the poem went on. “Like how to be the best person I can be.” Ariana flipped the page again and was about to discover that the book contained some very exciting news.
“I know it’s a little scary what you are about to find out,” Ariana read from the storybook’s pages. “But I promise it’s a blessing without a doubt.” The page’s cryptic illustration featured a pair of question marks: one pink and one blue.
And her parents hoped that by the time she’d finished reading the next page, Ariana would finally know the secret hidden within the book’s pages. But she read through it so quickly that she almost missed the news. “Being an only child has come to an end,” she nearly sped-read. “As Mommy is due for your new best friend.”
But when she reached the next page and quickly skimmed over the words before reading them, she at last realized why her parents had written the book: she would become a big sister at the age of ten. And she could barely contain her emotions – her voice cracked as she read the words out loud.
“You will be my big sister, you see,” she read, as the mystery character was at last revealed to be Ariana’s future sibling. “And I’m so excited to be hand-by-hand, just sissy and me.” With that, the girl could no longer keep it all – and she began to cry.
“What’s wrong?” her dad said with a laugh from behind the camera, as Ariana continued to stare at the pages, tears streaming down her face. “Finish reading the book,” her dad gently directed. But she could barely stifle her cries, let alone read the words aloud. So her mom finally had to ask her, “Are you sad?”
Her dad let out a knowing giggle. “Is that happy tears?” he asked, as if he knew the answer already. And it seemed that he did: his daughter nodded while continuing to cry. Her mom soon appeared on screen to give her daughter a big, comforting hug. Then her dad gave her a smooch, too.
Next they presented their daughter with a little bit of big-sister-to-be swag. She slipped into a new t-shirt reading “Awesome daughters get promoted to big sisters.” And in another box she found a teddy bear and a new bracelet with a silver heart-shaped charm.
As soon as she opened her final gift, the piece of jewelry, she once again became overcome by emotion. Her dad asked, “I thought you wanted to be a big sister?” “I do,” she replied, crying into her mom’s shoulder.
She soon composed herself, though, as her mom put the new piece of jewelry onto her wrist. Her dad then took the opportunity to ask if she wanted to say anything to her new baby brother or sister.
“I’m going to be a sister!” Ariana cheered, waving her free hand in the air and finally smiling at the camera. “Well, yeah, I guess they already know,” her dad said with a laugh. And with that, the ten-year-old once again started shedding tears of joy.
A month later, however, Ariana was all smiles at her parents’ gender-reveal party. The family-of-three stood around a table ready to cut into a cake that would tell her if they were expecting a boy or girl. A layer of icing hid the color of the cake itself, which would indicate the baby’s gender when cut.
The ten-year-old helped her parents by cutting the first slice. And when she made her second cut, it instantly became clear that she would soon have a little sister. “It’s a girl!” Ariana screamed, a huge smile appearing on her face as she and her parents lifted a bright-pink slice of cake into the air. With so much excitement in her eyes, it’s safe to assume that she can’t wait to meet her new sibling – and that she’ll be a wonderful, loving big sister when the time finally comes.