My girls are typical siblings – sometimes they can be at each others’ throats and at others they are sweet-as-can-be (and most hours it’s both back to back!). Yesterday, however, was one of those tender moments I wanted to get on video camera but just couldn’t get it turned on fast enough to record…
We had just finished lunch (Melissa was out on a prayer walk, so it was just me and the girls) and I told Celeste it was time to get ready for her nap. I sent her into her room to get ready as I tidied up a little bit in the kitchen, then as I went to walk over to her room I realized she was sitting in the rocking chair with Chloe, who had a flashlight and was “reading” her a story before nap time. Since they were having a good time I just went into the living room and tidied up a little more, then went back to her room to put her to bed and she said to me, “Daddy, I want Issy rock me.” So I go her changed (ie, put on pull-up), helped them get her books picked out, then sat them both next to each other in the rocking chair and turned on the lamp so Chloe could “read” stories to Celeste. I then closed the door and and sat outside the door on the computer, and as Chloe finished reading I went in to rock Celeste and put her in bed, but she said, “No, Daddy, I want Issy rock me.” So they sat in there together in the rocking chair until Chloe told her to go to bed and she did. (of course, after about 2 minutes Celeste decided she did want Daddy to rock her so she called for me and I still got my rock time – but that’s not the point of this story…)
Anyway, here’s why I write this… I have always treasured the times I spent with my sister and it’s one of the reasons I wanted to have more than one child. Like my girls, Erin and I used to fight and get on each others’ nerves all the time. But the bulk of my memories are not those times – in fact, it is difficult to consciously recall them – but the times I remember the most are the tender ones: bike rides, running in the woods, going fishing in the lake, swimming, playing in the backseat, rollerblading on the inter-coastal, talking on the phone after X-Files, going on youth group trips together, and the like. Granted, we had our differences (boy did we have our differences!), but the one thing we had that tied us together was that sense of family: we were brother and sister. Unlike my girls, however, I am unable to share life with my sister anymore.
So here’s the point of this post: treasure the moments you have with your siblings and loved ones – enjoy the time you have together, because you never know when it will end. My girls may fight and argue, but they are sisters – family – and that is to be expected. But even more important than that I at times see glimpses of the hope and love and joy that family brings. While my favorite times are hanging out with Melissa and my girls as a family, a very close second is witnessing my girls enjoy family on their own without my participation. And that makes me grateful and glad.