Needless to say, I wasn't the sibling you dream about when you hold a baby doll and ask your parents for a sister. Sorry, sis. But, my sister and I are nearly five years apart in age, also. Growing up, this made us not quite close enough to share clothes or boy stories, and just far enough apart that I could never catch up to being as good as something as she was. Add in my sister's sweet spirit and my brutally honest spunk...and you have yourself a volatile combination, my friends. Just the thought of it is conjuring up memories of my parents deeply sighing in disappointment while my older brother just laughs uncontrollably in the background.
|This art by Creative Thursday hangs in the girls' room.|
The fact of the matter is, we live in a two bedroom apartment, and unless one of them is willing to sleep in the refrigerator, then the two little girlykins will be sharing a room. Honestly, while the "American Dream" might tell us that owning a home and dog and 2.5 kids each with their own personal space is what we are ideally supposed to be aiming for...I gotta say, my answer is: No. Okay, okay, okay...No, thank you. A huge percentage of the world live in much tighter quarters, and I refuse to believe that two little babies can't coexist in a 12x10 ft room!
I want my girls to share a room. In fact, (I'll say it) if we had a third bedroom, I still would choose to have them share a room. I mean, why not? I share a room, why shouldn't they? (I kid.) I don't know, it just seems like too many times it is easy to jump to the conclusion that "if I only had such-n-such, my life would be easier" than it is to just stick with something and decide "this is enough...this will work" and just go for it. So, we're going for it.
Now, if you think that I'm being swayed by images of two little girls snuggled up in matching pajamas sharing bedtime stories with their stuffed animals...let me debunk this notion for you all together. In the last week, since putting them in the same room, I've been averaging about 4 hours of sleep a night. Four cumulative hours of sleep a night. And, did I mention they nap at different times during the day? So, yeah, there's no saving grace there either.
I'm not looking for sympathy (if anything, I'm looking for ADVICE!) but I just want to be clear that I'm not muddling up this whole roommate idea with grand notions of ideal sisterly love. My daughters are far from Anne and Diana's Green-Gable-Bosom-Buddy-status. They are just tiny little humans who aren't even used to the idea of sleeping at all, let alone with someone else in the room. But, that's exactly why I'm hoping this will work (it is, after all, just crazy enough). I'm hoping for: Security.
Having someone else by your side. Someone to hear you cry in the night and say "Okay, sissy, okay." Someone to wake up smiling next to. Someone to throw you a paci back into your crib when you've sent it sailing overboard in a fit of exhaustion. Someone to giggle with. Someone to mimic you. Someone to recite storybooks long after the book is closed. Someone to keep praying over you after the lights have gone off. Someone sleeping soundly just a few feet away, offering the comfort of quiet, rest, and total peace.
This week may have been a total train wreck. I'm sure our neighbors must think we are holding a couple jaguars captive or attempting to start a chicken fighting ring. It has been loud and sad and utter chaos at all hours trying to get one or both of them asleep within mere feet of each other. But, I know it can't last like this forever (right, God?) Hopefully soon and very soon they will be accustomed to each other. No, not only accustomed, but prefer to be with each other.
I am happy to say that today, I love my sister dearly. It must have been tortuous at times to be my sister - to put up with my tagging along or my taunting or begging or whatever. I wish I could say "I'm sure she had her moments too" (and, I'm sure she did) but honestly, all I can ever remember about growing up with my sister was her being pretty nice to me and me scheming a new prank on her every chance I got. But, for whatever reason, she's stuck with me through thick and thin. We get excited together when something wonderful happens for one of us, and cry together when it's a time to share sorrow.
It's true that a sister is a built-in friend for life. When I was little I might have thought of this as a negative thing...wishing I could have chosen the people who made up my family instead of the ones God placed around me. But, God put me in exactly the right place I was supposed to be. Maybe I wouldn't have befriended my sister along life's road if we weren't born into the same family. Maybe I wouldn't have sat next to her at a restaurant or sung next to her in church or introduced myself at a party. Maybe I would have never found out how awesome and talented and forgiving and fun she was because of all the reasons that I think we are not alike seems like enough to separate us from being friends.
Maybe that's exactly why we're more than friends. We're sisters. And I'm so glad that God made sure I didn't miss out on who she and what our friendship has become simply because of a few silly differences along the way. I am so glad to have the security of our friendship. It's such a blessing to know, through thick and thin, she will always be there to giggle with or cry with or call on when I need a hug.
I don't know if my girls will always like each other along the way as they grow up together. I'm not even sure they won't try to kill each other by the end of the week! But, I do know that space isn't going to dictate whether the love between friends is nurtured or diminished. Because, when you're sisters...nothing can crush that kind of bond. Not even an eight-foot-tall Christmas tree.