I went to visit my sister and her three kids in Detroit over spring break. I had a great time but it was so cold. Why do people live where it snows, in April? I am so so so glad that the Lord called me to Atlanta and not Alaska.
So I was at my sister’s in
Alaska Detroit. She has three kids. Three girls. Basically she has the exact family we were raised in, space between sisters and all. 5, 3, and 1. It was super fun to be around. I kept calling us the estrogen parade. Everybody at the mall, or at the zoo (where we had a friend’s 4 year old girl- 5 girls under 5) kept commenting about all of those little girls. Especially when we dressed them alike for their picture. Here were some of the highlights
*Deciding at 8 am to get the girls dressed in matching outfits (that we had to find and put together) and get their picture taken. We had never done this before and it was hilarious. The big girls did a great job but the babies were a little less than co-operative. So the poor photographer had to keep a 3 and 5 year old in place and smiling while the Em’s youngest cried that she wasn’t being held by mama and the Peanut (who refused to nap that day) pulled on her ear and looked border line comatose. Lucky for us we got one good photo. So it wasn’t a difficult decision.
*After the photo-shoot we drove half way across town to go to the mall with the play place, got the kids fed (the Peanut was mad I didn’t get her food fast enough). Where there was a sweet carousel and Em and I had no cash so the big girls had to be told sorry after we had said yes…..oops. Luckily there was enough change for them to each go on the ride of their choice. They were remarkably amiable about the whole thing. By the time we got home I was really glad my brother-in-law had made dinner. We were all pretty tired.
*Four girls in one bathtub. The squealing, the splashing. The sheer joy of it all.
Mostly it was fun to watch the older sisters interact. I don’t really have any memories of what it was like to have day to day interactions with my sisters when I was one or three. It was pretty entertaining, especially watching the older two. The oldest who I will refer to as the Star and the second who I will call the Scientist were constantly playing together. Occasionally the Star would tell the Scientist “You can’t be my best friend anymore.” Which she is NOT allowed to say. Mostly because it is mean, but also because it is not true. Em and I were sitting around laughing about it.
Ask Jill and I, as much as you try to avoid it you sisters are there. Always there…..the person who you are screaming at across the 150 people in the band room, is the “extra” person you want with you in the delivery room when you are birthing your first child. The person who bears the scars of your fights is the same one who is still able to make you laugh until you pee yourself at 27 years old. It is the arch of sisterhood. Those old rivalries and frustrations will fade and be the strange foundation of the closest relationship outside of your marriage. If you let them. If you forgive. If you and your family covers those relationships in prayer. Believe me. I know.
I still remember the Christmas where I was engaged, where Jill and I had erupted into yet another argument. I know it was about something stupid, but I don’t remember exactly what. We ended up yelling across the living room as our extended family wondered if we were ever going to be able to get along. And my dad let us know what a bad witness it was. Two people who professed to be followers of Christ, who spoke of the forgiveness of sin, were unable to forgive each other of anything, ever. Whooops. Merry Christmas.
We began praying for our relationship without telling each other, and just a few years later Jill was the family member I was praying would come here. Jill was the one I was so desperately grateful for when I had my baby, funny how God’s grace can work out like that. Can cover and heal relationships if you let it.
There is little doubt in my mind that The Star and The Scientist will have a similarly close relationship as they age. And for them I leave this hilarious interaction. Because, who else can you puke on but your sister.
Star: (Bursting in the door) I PUKED! I puked on Scientist, I puked on her coat. I PUKED on Scientist’s coat!
Scientist: (Trudging in) Someone puked on my coat, star puked on my coat. I do not want to wear this coat anymore.
At which point I was doing everything I could to control my laughter. When I found out that Scientist had made Star laugh so hard that she puked up the birthday cake she had eaten I couldn’t contain myself any longer and covered my head with a blanket until I laughed till I cried.
See, this is what you need sisters for, to make you laugh so hard you have some sort of bodily fluid come out of you involuntarily.