Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Turns out even little people long for the good old days. Being able to tie your own shoes and brush your own hair are not prerequisites for looking backwards. This week, with a little brother feeling his oats and a baby sister on the move, Sis has been watching ‘Happy Days’ reruns in her mind.
“Mom, remember before I had a brother and sister and I was so lonely and I got to choose all the movies?”
“Mom, remember before I had a brother and sister and I was so sad and lonely and got to snuggle you by myself every time?”
“Mom, remember before I had a brother and sister and I only had a boring mom and dad and we were all so lonely and nobody would ruin my projects?”
I suppress a giggle. She is trying to share her feelings without offending, framing in her loss with a healthy dose of reality. It really was sad and lonely around here with just one kiddo. It definitely felt like there was more love to go around. And Sis would admit, even as Peanut chews the corner off the picture for Grandma she worked on all morning, that she loves being a big sister.
A year and a half in, sibling-hood defines her as much or more than any other aspect of her life. And brings her more joy and companionship than heartache and frustration. When she thinks Mister is funny, she throws her head back and her whole body laughs. When Peanut sees her coming and starts flapping hello, Sis smiles in proud and contented satisfaction. Without a brother, there would not be anyone to do her bidding. And without a baby sister, there would be no one to blame for a messy room and lost socks. More mom and dad. Less wrestling and giggling at the table.
And so it is. In moments of weakness, we pull up the rosy bits of days lost and indulge ourselves in a memory. We rub it against our face like the worn satin corner of a favorite blankie. And we wish the blankie were new again, even though going back would forfeit the good of today and the road of adventure that tattered the blankie in the first place. So we look for balance. A healthy appreciation for where we have been, a quiet spirit in the midst of today and bright and hopeful eyes looking for tomorrow.