Growing up, there were a lot of times when I longed for a sister. A sister would willingly play Barbies with me. A sister would tell me the truth when I asked if I looked fat in something. A sister would help me come up with the perfect scheme to reel in the guy of my dreams.
Instead, I have brother Jimmy who is a year and a half younger than I am.
Jimmy, who would only agree to play Barbies if the Ninja Turtles could kill them. Jimmy, who would say something along the lines of "Not as fat as your friend _________. She always looks like she wants to eat me..." if I asked him how something fit that I knew was too small. Jimmy, who took it upon himself to ask a boy to take me to Homecoming in 9th grade, and told everyone EXCEPT me that he'd done so. I'm pretty lucky to have him though, and if I could go back in time I wouldn't change a thing because I can honestly say that he is and has always been my best friend.
My daughters are 6 and (almost) 3. Mia and Marlee are my very own live-in versions of "Ramona & Beezus". Mimi is the overachieving big sister; in an almost constant state of irritation yet fiercely protective over her pest of a little sister. Marlee is the ornery little sister; she is a tornado of trouble both accidentally and intentionally who thinks her sister hung the moon will do anything just to make the older girl giggle.
Marlee has had a lot of "I want Sissy" moments lately. Mia goes to her dad's every other weekend and at other various points throughout the week. Sometimes Marlee goes over for a few hours too, sometimes she stays home. At this point she's pretty used to the fact that Sissy's not always at home with her, and we can distract her quickly with a little undivided attention. This weekend was different though...
Mia spent the night with her cousins last night, and then spent the afternoon with her dad. It just about killed baby girl. We're talking real puppy dog eyes, sweet toddler voice begging for Sissy, followed by the most pitiful sobs a mama's ever witnessed. "I just want my Sissy, Mommy. Not yoooooooou. Not bruhyaaaaa. Just Sissaaaaaay..."
I don't remember having that kind of emotional pull as a child. Is that the magic of sisterhood, or is it the age gap that I never experienced? I never wanted to tag along when my brother spent the night away from home - I lack the necessary attention span for video games, can't throw a ball to save my life, and I never thought it sounded like fun to have someone tie me up 'for practice in case I ever get kidnapped' and then try to escape my bindings. Also, since Jimmy and I are so close in age there wasn't really a point where one of us was big enough and the other had to wait a few more years.
All in all, even as my heart was breaking for Marlee, I had to smile a little. If she's this crazy about her big sister at age 3, just imagine the love she'll feel in 20 years. And as for Mia? She had a great time this weekend doing her big sister thing, and I'll bet in 20 years she'll have an even better time doing the sister thing - nothing big.
'There is no better friend than a sister, and there is no better sister than you' - Author Unknown