Dear daughters,

You’re supposed to be sleeping right now, but you’ve asked to share a bed for the night, so quietly drifting off seems unrealistic when hysterical giggles are echoing down the hall. And that’s fine—you’re four and two, so who can blame you? You love each other wholly; you’re best friends, except for those inevitable moments when you become mortal enemies facing off over a toy. Hearing you laughing together, coming up with your own inside jokes and lines of conversation instead of sleeping—it really is fine. I pray you always appreciate the bond you’re forming now, even if you can’t possibly yet see how lasting it will be.

A few things I hope you remember in your lifelong sisterhood:

Remember to have your sister’s back.

Each of you, always. Be there when it’s hard or good. Be there when your sister seems far away. Any distance, whether it’s created by new friends, sports, college, a tough job, or, someday, your own children, can be crossed so that you meet in the middle. Take time for each other and invest in your relationship throughout life. One day, you will experience heartbreak. It might be a boy the first time, but you’ll face bigger struggles later, and your sister will be right there to wade through it all with you. Even when, hopefully decades from now, your father and I are gone—you’ll have each other to lean on.

Remember to have her front, too.

I think you’re the most beautiful girls in the world. You know what, though? There is a slight possibility that not everyone you meet will think so. If you hit the tween stage, and one of you feels awkward and gangly and like everyone is looking at your awkwardness and gangliness, the other better be ready to tackle self-conciousness and restore confidence. That stage will pass, and you’ll glow, comfortable in your own skin. For the time, though, give each other some love (and maybe some grace if there is purple eyeshadow involved, trust me). Never compete in this category; let your inner beauty shine above what’s readily visible.

Remember who you are and whose you are.

Because you’re so close in age, you’ll be well-known in your small town as sisters. You’re different people, but whatever you do, you’ll still be recognized as belonging to each other. Remember this when you make a choice that might affect your sister. If you find yourself in a tough social situation, lured in by peers to something you didn’t quite expect, you’ll always have someone to call who will be there to help you out of it and help you find your way home. Oh, and I hereby give permission to the rescuing sister to issue a stern lecture on my behalf, when necessary. 

Remember to be your sister’s biggest fan.

Maybe one will shine on the stage and one will be a killer shortstop. Maybe you’ll be side-by-side at the academic bowl or on the soccer field. You know who will be cheering you on, whatever the occasion? Your loving parents, probably with painted faces, and your loyal sister, probably sitting far away from your paint-faced parents. As you try new things, support each other. Help each other practice new moves and be a sounding board for creative endeavors. If you start cheering for each other now in t-ball, you’ll build a life full of celebrating together. You’ve got someone who is basically legally required to be excited when you text about how much money you saved couponing one day. However trivial, your sister will be proud of you.

Remember to walk in faith with your sister.

Believe the best of her and hope the best for her. Keep her accountable and help her strive to achieve the highest of goals. You are a gift to each other from our Creator, who linked together your hearts and souls before time began. Don’t squander that gift or take it for granted. Encourage one another in your faith, and, arm-in-arm, walk a life you can both be proud of.

All my love,

You may also like:

How Blessed I Am To Be Raising Sisters

So God Made a Sister

How Lucky You Are To Be Growing Up With Sisters

Rebekah Warren

Rebekah Warren lives on ten acres in Oklahoma, where she’s constantly chasing after her barefooted daughters with their shoes. She writes about the joys and heartaches of motherhood at and on Instagram @rebekahwarrenwrites.