Monday, October 11, 2010

All About Sisters

This is my favorite picture of the girls. I can't see their faces, it's a few years old, I wasn't actually there when it was taken, but it's the holding hands that gets me. I know that they held hands to feel connected. I know they were enjoying one of their sisterly moments, and this one just happened to be caught on camera.

As I read The Kids Are All Right, written by the Welch siblings, their assessment that being orphaned wasn't the worst thing that happened to them, but being separated from each other was made sense to me. Not that being orphaned wasn't horrible, but that the only ones who could understand the pain and get each other through it was each other. Without one another to ground them, they were lost.

Having two children is, no doubt, more than twice as hard as having one. The financial cost, the attempt to make family decisions where of course they both want to choose something different, trying to spend quality time with both, parenting them differently because they are different people, but still attempting to keep things fair and equal, getting through a crisis with one and before I've sat down having a crisis with the other and the sibling rivalry can be exhausting.

But I wouldn't have it any other way. And neither would they.

They may whine about sharing a bedroom, but when one of them is spending the night elsewhere, the other has a hard time going to sleep without her sister there. They share private jokes, they make up plays to put on for me, they comfort each other, and they are the best of friends.

I understand their relationship because I have the same with my sister. 

My sister is my best friend. My favorite childhood memory is the Christmas morning when she woke me up early so we could sneak up to see what Santa had brought long before it was time to wake up. We whispered excitedly about her new bike and my new Barbie house that were left unwrapped. We took our stockings back to her room to empty the contents and whispered and giggled together before we put them back. I felt loved, special, happy and warm all over just being with her and sharing something with just her.

Now, we share laughter when no one else gets it, and we'll inevitably say the same things at the exact same time with the exact same inflection when we're together. We call each other sobbing, we call each other excited to share our latest best news, and we love each other too much to let any of our faults get in the way. With each other, we are totally and completely free to be ourselves.

The scariest thing about being a single mom was what would happen to my girls if something happened to me. I was anxious to finalize my divorce so that I could put my will in place and ensure that they would indeed be all right - and together -  if I wasn't here to care for them. And someday, I won't be. There's a certain comfort in knowing that when that day comes, they will be holding each other and together, they'll get through it.

Read more posts on The Kids Are All Right: A Memoir at the book club site, From Left to Write.

While I was given the book to read for free, I have not been compensated for this post. The link to the book is connected to my Amazon Associates account, and any purchase made from it will generate a (very) small referral fee for me.


Penelope said...

I have four sisters and I LOVE it. I take great comfort in knowing we'll have each other well into the future.

Erica said...

Great post - it's thoughts like this that keep the window of possibility open for me to have two kids.

Kori said...

Must be PMS because this post brought tears to my eyes-which is actually the SECOND time I have said that today. And it makes me sad for the years with my sisters that we all pissed away being stupid. Love you.

Anonymous said...

I'm an only child, so watching my girls has been a learning experience. They are best friends and so close, and I know they'll always be that way.

Diana Welch said...

It is so heartening to read your post, April. What a thoughtful and loving mother you are!

Writing The Kids are All Right with my sister Liz really solidified our already close relationship, and shifted it from a big sister/little sister dynamic to that of best friends. I know that I couldn't have written this book without her - in fact, I don't know how other memoirists do it! All alone with those memories -- it must be s hard. All I know is, Liz and I relished our wine-fueled dinners every night after our long days of writing and crying.

thanks so much for reading, and writing.


Danielle said...

Ah, I am an only child and have always felt like I missed out on a lot of things because of it. I swore I would never have just one child and low and behold. I have one child. I feel bad that she won't get to share the sibbling bond.

Linsey K said...

My sister is my best friend too. Absolutely. And, having three kids myself, I treasure their relationship. It is one of the most important things in life.

Rachael said...

I have two sisters, and they make my life. I LOVE the photo, there is something about photos from behind I love anyway, and siblings holding hands? Awesome.

Vinomom said...

This makes me sad....I am the oldest by far of four girls. They all grew up together and in my mind (though I am sure my imagination makes it more simplistic than it is) I missed out on all the great stuff siblings get to share.

What really makes me sad is that even if I were to have more children, my daughter is in the exact same situation. You are lucky to have that in your life, and your children are lucky as well.

Also, pretty awesome that the author commented here! Can you email me about the book club blog and how it all works?