Yesterday, I saw my sister and her family – husband, 4yr old son, and baby on the way – for the first time in a long time. We last visited in February 2013. After 7yrs in western Canada, she’s moved back to Ontario. They’ll be settling about 3hrs away, but that’s much better than a two day drive.
We went to a handmade artisan sale at a local winery. I really love this region! A friend from church handcrafts gourmet ice cream. We all enjoyed a taste.
My sister is two years younger than me. The legend goes, when she was born – in the month of May – I insisted upon wearing a snowsuit to meet her in the hospital. My dad brought me and fed me Smarties along the way. I arrived a colourful, chocolate mess wearing a pink snowsuit. Jumping up beside my mom on the hospital bed, I shouted, “Where’s my Jennie Mae?”
Since then we’ve always been the best of friends. Some of our tastes overlap – literature, music, films – while others diverge – fashion, food, fun. Regardless of our differences, having someone who fully accepts me and lovingly challenges me is invaluable. I can’t imagine any portion of my life without my sister.
My own girls, full biological sisters, haven’t always been together. A good portion of their short lives have been spent apart. Because of how much I value my own sister, I’ve worked hard to form a connection for them. It’s grown slowly but I’m happy to say it’s there. While Athena’s at school and Raine enjoys a particular adventure she’ll say, “Can we do this again with my sister?” Now days when I send them upstairs to put their pajamas on, they end up playing joyously together. There was a time when arguments would erupt the moment I was out of sight.
Both of my girls are fiercely competitive. It assaults my senses since I am not. Never did my sister or I complete against each other. It wasn’t in our nature. We worked endlessly to build each other up – offering the other our success at every turn. After resisting for ages, I’ve given in. There are times when I suggest a race if the girls aren’t responsive to my instructions. It works. It’s not helpful in obliterating their competitive edge. Perhaps that’s alright. I’m not sure. It remains a completely foreign concept to me – especially in the context of family. But I’m happy to see more helping than competing between them these days. They’re beginning to experience the love of a sister.