When I was expecting my second baby, people sometimes looked at my firstborn, a daughter, and told me, “Now you just need a boy . . . then you’ll have a balanced family.”
I didn’t bother to tell them that with me as the mom, our family was never going to be “balanced”. I usually gave the stock but entirely true response, “We’re just praying for a healthy baby.”
I would, in fact, have been overjoyed to have had a son. But I also remembered the summer day when I was six years old and my dad pulled my younger brother and me out of vacation Bible school and knelt on the linoleum floor of the church hallway and told us, “Mommy had the baby. You have a sister.” I remembered loving that word “sister”. I knew what a gift having one had been my whole life. And so when my doctor announced for a second time, “It’s a girl!” I already knew what a gift it would be for my own daughter to have a sister.
I love that I have the privilege of raising sisters.
I love seeing my girls in their roles as sisters.
I love that they love each other. (Particularly since I’ve been “encouraging” them about this their entire lives. “Your friends will come and go, but your sister will always be your sister! Love each other! I mean it! Do it! Do it NOW!”)
I love that they are not only sisters, but also friends.
I love that they choose to spend time with each other.
I love that they never seem to run out of things to talk about.
I love all their inside jokes.
I love hearing them laugh together.
I love watching them do each other’s hair. I love that sometimes they make “appointments” with each other. (“Can you do my hair before dance Thursday night?”)
I love that they care about each other’s happiness.
I love that they share clothes. (Even if the emotional climate of our home is disproportionately affected by whether or not “The Gray Shirt” Daughter #1 technically owns is available when Daughter #2 wants—needs— to borrow it.)
I love that they trust each other’s fashion advice. (As in, my older daughter comes to me and asks if her outfit looks cute. I tell her, honestly, that it does. Five seconds later, I hear her knock on the door of our family’s most opinionated but also most fashion-savvy member: “Sis? Does this look cute?” Which is fine. I know my role here.)
I love that they miss each other when they’re apart.
I love that they have so many shared interests.
I love that they make plans with each other.
I love that they cheer for each other.
I love that they encourage each other.
I love that they can be honest with each other. I love that they are honest with each other. (Sometimes brutally, but still.)
I love that they know each other. I love that when my younger daughter’s dance student wanted to get her an end-of-year gift, her mom approached my older daughter and asked, “What does your sister like? I’m sure you know.” And she did know. (Hello, Sour Patch Kids, Goldfish crackers, and Chick-fil-A gift card.)
I love that they have a lifetime of shared memories to look back on.
I love that they have a future of new memories to look forward to making.
Years ago, I gave my sister a birthday card that showed two little girls giggling in the backseat of a car, their heads close together in some shared joke. The card read, “I’m so glad mom and dad had both of us.”
To my sister: I’m still so glad mom and dad had both of us. And to my girls—my very own live-in set of sisters: I’m so glad your dad and I had both of you.
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