Sister, Sister!

Monday, March 10, 2014

"Sister ... She is your partner in crime, your midnight companion, someone who knows when you are smiling, even in the dark. She is your teacher, your defense attorney, your personal press agent, even your shrink. Some days, she's the reason you wish you were an only child." -Barbara Alpert

I don't watch much television- mostly because we don't actually get channels to watch. DVDs and tapes sure, but not channels. However, we occasionally decide that we actually want to watch a television series, so we go out of our way to make sure we actually do. Sometimes we invite ourselves over to people's houses to watch it on their Netflix, or even as it simply appears on the television. And sometimes we rent or buy the DVDs as quickly as we possibly can. 

That's what we've been doing with Downton Abbey lately. In fact, we finished the first season just a few days ago. After finishing the season, I felt an overwhelming sense of appreciation for my sister, as well as a compulsion to be extremely nice to her.

For any of you who haven't seen Downton Abbey, I'll do my best to explain what I mean without spoiling anything for you should you decide to go watch it for yourself. (So far, it's been pretty interesting. For the most part, good story-telling, the acting is good, cinematography is good... There has been at least one scene that we skipped, but overall, it's been good, I'd say. And certainly intriguing.)

Well, there are these two sisters... They don't get along very well. And when I say they don't get along, I'm not talking just petty arguing, bickering or clash-of-wills. No, that I've seen plenty- it still bothers me to no end of course, but I've mostly learned to ignore it. No, this is taking sibling rivalry to a whole new level. Let me lay it out for you... Sister #1 is popular, so Sister #2 gets slightly sulky. This leads to #1 showing-off to rub it in #2's face, so #2 tries to outdo #1, so #1 tries harder than before and crushes #2's hopes, so #2 ruins #1's reputation, so #1 ruins #2's hopes of marriage. 

Convoluted, huh? Well, that basically sums up what we've seen so far without actually mentioning any of the circumstances involved. At the end of the season finale, I was left pondering the tragic story of these two sisters, and genuinely thanking God that this is such a far cry from the relationship I have with any of my sisters.


Of course, I have my Kharis. My older sister. If we were the sisters in the story, I would have ruined her reputation and she'd have ruined my marriage. Terribly sad, I must say. We'd have been pretty much off speaking terms by now, and probably hated each others guts.

Which is why I am so grateful that we are not those sisters.

My sister is my best friend. She is my roommate (for now), my frequent traveling companion (in spite of the fact that I'm not always hers anymore), my partner in crime (or, rather, the mastermind behind it all), my free counselor (it comes with the job, I think), and my shoulder to cry on (sometimes). I could not have created a better sister for me. I would have tried to make her too much like me.

Some people might find that funny, because they already see us as practically twins anyways. (Ha!) They seem to be under the impression that because we have similar faces, we ought to be the same on the inside, too. That perhaps we are two cookies made from the same batch of dough.

But God never uses the same dough twice. Sure, he may use similar recipes for some of us, but we all have our own little quirks and oddities. A pinch more salt, huge heaps of chocolate chips, or a bit less flour than normal. It's what makes us special.

If I had planned it out, we would both have a similar personality- quiet, laid back, easy going, humorous, etc. Well, if I had planned it, we would never get anything done. 


Then, I have my Zoe. Our wild child. She and I have a slightly strained relationship at the moment. We are so very different, and our needs tend to conflict. I am certain we are both to blame for the fact that we tend to have a hard time getting along.

As for me, I tend to be more irritable of late, and have difficulty letting go of things that once wouldn't have bothered me much at all. The constant strain of being sick and tried all of the time makes it very hard to keep cool in frustrating situations.

And unfortunately for both of us, Zoe is going through a phase where she seems to enjoy frustrating people on purpose. Or perhaps she just doesn't think things through before she does them. Whatever the case, my irritability mixed with her "phase" makes it very difficult to spend time together and not come away feeling very frustrated.

But in spite of the fact that we don't get along as well as we used to, we still love each other. We still have our special moments, and we still enjoy each other. We can be in the same room without arguing, and we don't purposefully hurt each other.

I am very hopeful that we will get closer as time goes on, and as we both grow older. Age gets less important as you get older, and the gap between us seems smaller each year. Perhaps then we will get along a bit better.

But even before then, I cherish each day that I have with her. Because I know that I can never get back any of the years the go by, and I do not want to waste a single one with her. Already, she has gotten so big. I remember when she was just born, and when she still sat in a high-chair, and when she was learning to read. I remember her first Christmas, and her first birthday.

And now she's nine years old...


Lastly, there's my Shiloh. Sweet, little Shiloh.

It seems only yesterday that she came home from the hospital, but already she's nearly two. Where does the time go? I couldn't tell you.

She has such a personality, and I have enjoyed watching her grow. She is discovering new things about the world everyday, and loves to explore. She loves to laugh, and make other people laugh. She also loves experimenting with the different noises she can make, and sometimes mimics the noises others make to her.

Every day is something new when there's a toddler in the house, and it's no different for us. I cherish each memory we make, every funny thing I see her do, and every day we have together. Someday, she'll be too big for the stroller. Someday, she'll use ALL real words.

So until then, I'm going to make the most of this time we have together. The slobbery kisses, the unintelligible conversations, and the sweet laughter of a small child.


What about you? What do you take for granted?....

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