3 Ways to Love (or Annoy) Your Sibling

You don’t choose your family. They are God’s gift to you, as you are to them. – Desmond Tutu

This I know to be true. Sweetgirl may certainly beg to differ many days of the week, but she’ll get over it.  In about 20 years.  Trust me.  I know from experience.

2 Fruity kids from the same tree...

2 Fruity kids from the same tree…

Brothers can love the tar out of their little sisters, just as sisters can love the tar out of their big brothers (and little! Hey,Capt. Ahab’s son, I’m talkin’ to you!).  I know this for fact because, our Sweetboy most certainly does love his.  To smithereens.  Much to her chagrin some days (but, not ours).

1) You can write notes, like this one, for your little sister, who is four and refuses to acknowledge that there are things called letters that make up the alphabet.  Or, in other news, she can’t yet read.  But that shouldn’t stop you from writing to her to tell her what you’ve been learning.  “She might find it interesting, Mama.”

Surely, she was dying to know all about this, no?

Surely, she was dying to know all about this, no?

2) You can touch the silky strands of your little sister’s hair and breathe in the smell as often as humanly possible, because… well, “it’s so soft and smells so  good that I just can’t stand it!”.

3) Then, there are the sweeter moments of sibling love that are best described, not in words, but in pictures.  And so, here you go…

Ain't Love Grand?

Ain’t Love Grand?

And when Sweetboy questions where God is and how we can be sure He exists?  I pull this verse out to share with him:

No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

1 John 4:12

I ask him who he thinks put that sweet love for his sister inside of his heart?  As much as I’d like to claim credit for that, I can’t.  I remind him that he is doing a great job of living that very verse out each time he opts to give her the last chocolate chip pancake or ask her, “What’s wrong, Sissy?”, when she’s crying (which is a lot, as she is the ultimate drama queen); or, each time he tells Sweetman and I that he doesn’t want to do this or that activity without “the whole family” or races downstairs in the morning and hops on the couch to share a blanket and snuggle in with her (despite their almost 5 year age difference).  In each of these acts, he shows us how we are to love one another.

With sweet abandon..  Oh yes, indeedy.

Family Sandwich

Sometimes, we call Sweetboy “The Big Cheese”.  For all of the reasons you can possibly conjure in your mind. And then some.  Now that you know that pertinent piece of information, what I’m about to relay will make more sense.  Maybe…

Sweetman, Sweetgirl and I were down in the playroom snuggling on the couch while Sweetboy was up stairs hopping away, when Sweetgirl asked for a “Sweetgirl Sandwich”.  This is not an edible sandwich, however; it’s a kind of hug.  Daddy and I stick a kidlet or the kidlets in between the two of us and we do a squeeze hug, which we call a Family Sandwich.  (This all started as part of Sweetboy’s Sensory therapy when he was little.  We would help him alleviate his need for sensory input by providing great big bear hugs.)

I suppose Sweetgirl decided it was high time we had just a “her” sandwich.  In any case, we did a Sweetgirl Sandwich and she giggled delightedly and asked for a second helping.  We obliged.  Sweetboy heard all of the ruckus and made his way down to see what was going on. When he discovered that we were doing a Family Sandwich, he, of course, wanted in.  So we smushed the two of them in between us and hugged the stuffing out of them both.

At this time, Sweetman informed the kidlets that we were the pieces of bread and Sweetboy was the Big Cheese.  Sweetgirl instantly asked, “And what am I, Daddy?”  We looked at each other above their heads and that man? He read my mind!  Because, his response was, “You’re the Turkey, of course!”  We all collapsed into fits of giggles and laughter.

And it was the most satisfying Sandwich I’ve had in a good long while.  Indeed.

Fish Out Of Water (And Breathing Just Fine)

Moving to New England was a brave endeavor for a Floridian. Yes indeedy! Especially given that the pace of life is vastly different.  It’s FAST.  And I don’t mean, road-rage if you don’t keep out of the left lane, kind of fast.  I mean busy, busy, busy, kind-of-fast.  And I like it like that.  In South Florida, things move at a much slower pace. (Mostly because it’s 85 degrees in the shade.  In the dead of winter!)

With age comes wisdom. (I know, right? Even for me!)  I now see the folly in moving so far away from the people who have to help you in times of crisis simply because they share the same blood lines, (family is great that way, isn’t it?). Moving practically across the pond, as The Nana would have you know,  makes it awfully hard to find help and support.  Basically, I am the epitome of ‘Miss Independence’ because I have to be.  I’ve learned the necessity of a well-developed network.  Neighbors become lifelines, as do friends, when you need to race a dog to the ER because she’s ingested 5 red grapes and needs to have her stomach pumped immediately just to survive.  Just, you  know, for example…

And so it is that I get by with a little help from my friends. And neighbors. And church family. And, truth be told, I’ve done more than get by; I’ve thrived!  You could even say, this fish out of water is breathing just fine! Yes indeedy!