We’ve come a long way since playing Barbie and Cabbage Patch kids. I remember taking hours to set up the Barbie Dream House after Barbie and Ken’s big wedding. And there were countless times we rocked and fed our Cabbage Patch dolls pretending to be mommies.
I cannot imagine life without my sister. When we were little she tried my patience with her unwillingness to play by the rules. My rules. As a teenager she was the one who confronted me on a “bad news” boyfriend. As adults we are friends. Our relationship changed as I headed off to college. By the time she left for college, our relationship had changed completely. We started to lean into each other more. We realized we weren’t as different as we thought we were. I think even if we weren’t sisters, we would still be good friends. Now we are both. And the roots of our stories run deep and are entangled. Inseparable because we were blessed to be of the same family tree.
They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor. – Isaiah 61:3
Since leaving our childhood home, we lived together for a summer in Ann Arbor after I graduated college. Then after she graduated we lived together for a year in Chicago. We continually ask each other why we aren’t together in the same city. Together with all these boys. Four boys between the two of us.
Her firstborn son was born one year to the very day after mine. And we became pregnant at the same time for our second baby boys. Her due date was five days before mine. I ended up delivering four days before her.
Now that N is here and has completely changed the trajectory of my life – at least as I see it – the importance of her in my life is emphasized. Underscored. Essential.
This past weekend she came to visit with her littlest. She took care of me and mine like a mother. She fed me, let me sleep, and was good company. There was nothing I couldn’t say to her. I got to meet the baby that is the happiest baby that ever was. And he brought us so much joy.
She’s my little sister yet I look up to her. In her cooking ability, her honest fashion advice, her counseling. Younger than I, yet wiser than I. She told me, “It’s interesting that we have all boys. Boys want to fight for something. Now they have a purpose.” She was referring to N. Our new life purpose. She told me that although M is only four he already has a purpose. Jesus called us to love “the least of these.” N’s purpose is to teach us how.
Life was simple then. It’s complicated now. Playing house as a kid is fun but living it out as an adult has real challenges. I remember my dad telling us to not wish our childhood away. Now I wish I could return to relive it. And in a very cool way I get to. Through her.
We parted sad. Our goodbyes are always tearful. Will we ever live in the same city? Now is clearly not the time. So we agreed to pray and seek and wait.
We missed you Noah. It really wasn’t the same without all the boys!
My book, Beauty in Broken Dreams: A Hopeful Handbook for the Early Years as a Special Needs Parent, is now available on Amazon!
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