The youngest is sitting in her big sister’s lap. Their dirty blonde and strawberry blonde curls mix together in one mass of curls. They look so sweet and loving. I freeze this moment in my mind. A few moments later they are arguing as sisters do.
Their relationship reminds me of my own with my sister. It is a pull towards closeness and a push towards independence. Munch and Skeeter love to play together until Munch needs her space from her little sister. This pushing and pulling makes my husband and I the referees. We try to honor each girl’s need to play together and her need to be alone. Skeeter is only two, so she has no concept of personal space. She idolizes Munch, and she wants to be older so desperately, much like my own sister did. Munch is exasperated by Skeeter who has to see everything she does. I talk a lot to Munch about being a big sister and how to talk to her sister about respecting her personal space. Munch is only five, so it is a work in progress.
I know that my relationship with my sister colors my parenting of my little girls. I cherish that relationship even as my sister still frustrates me. I know that I continue to frustrate her as well. It is that continuing push and pull of establishing my own family while grounding myself in the traditions of my family of origin. I hope for the same for my girls. To my beautiful and talented sister, I miss you and love you. You handle being a stay at home mom with grace and humor. I admire you so much for that.