Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Sisters in Sickness

I'm feeling a bit thoughtful tonight, after reading two thought-provoking blog entries...on from Elizabeth Foss, and one from Danielle Bean. I have known Elizabeth for a long time, and I know her well enough to know what she thinks about a subject, but I do so enjoy reading to get her way of saying things. I don't know Danielle as well, but I also enjoy her take on issues of motherhood. These 2 posts, in combination with this crazy day, got me thinking about sisters.

I don't have any sisters, but I always wanted one. I asked God for one frequently when I was little, but I guess, in the late 60s, I should have been asking my parents :) . In any case, I was thrilled when 3 years after Libby was born, Annika came along. There it is...that three year gap that some people (see the blog entries referenced above) think is just right for siblings. I'm glad I didn't know that, or there would be no T, as he was born smack in between the girls. I can't imagine life without T.

But back to these sisters. When I was expecting Annika, I hoped she would be very different from Libby, and she is. Libby has dark hair and dark eyes, but Annika has light hair (it was blond, but is now almost auburn) and green/grey eyes. Libby was quick at many things, but Annika, a typical Collier (my side of the family) was slower to mature. But they are also quite similar, sharing a room, clothes, and reading aloud to each other from their favorite books--Shakespeare, Austin, and more. They share babysitting jobs, and they both sing in the choir at church. Both have been CCD assistants in my class. Sure, they argue sometimes, but they are great friends.

These past few months, Annika has been going about her routine while Libby is caught in a whirlwind of activity. Between work, lessons, classes, and more, the girls see each other at bed time just long enough to say "goodnight." With all the applications done, and Libby's college physics class over, this week was going to be different, a time to do some sister things together.
They had big plans. On Monday, after Annika babysat in the morning, they both went in to the Metropolitan Opera to see The Valkyrie. Bonding over 5 hours of Wagner should have been enough, but they spent the night with a family friend, eating ice cream and playing poker way into the night. They came home on Tuesday, and had a regular day...Annika had her German class, and Libby taught her students.

Tuesday night, both girls began vomiting, and were up all night. All night. Libby had her 1st college audition today, Wednesday, just after noon, and I had to take her instead of letting her take the train, abandoning Annika on the couch with a bucket and a book, with a promise of Gatorade. Libby made it through the audition, weak and pale and shaky; there was no possibility of rescheduling. But that's one down...

Back home a few hours later, both girls napped and felt better. Together they sat up on the same couch for Gatorade, pretzels, and a sappy chick flick (Saving Sarah Cain). Annika asked about Libby' s audition. Libby asked about Annika's day. Both agreed they felt better. And they made plans for another outing. They poured more Gatorade and laughed.

I was so jealous.

14 comments:

The Bookworm said...

What a lovely sisterly picture :).

I always wanted a sister too, and I'm so glad my girls have them (they'll probably grow up wanting a brother, but apparently we only do girls so it can't be helped!).

Elena said...

That's funny. I have 4 sisters, but I've always wanted a big brother.

Stephanie said...

Beautiful. Thanks for that today.

Lisa said...

How wonderful that they care so much for each other. As the second of three girls, I always wanted a big brother, but it took a long time (a really long time) before I figured out it was too late for one...

Meredith said...

I don't have a sister either, I sure hope they feel better!

Mary Ellen Barrett said...

MacBeth, I'm so glad you wrote this. I don't have a sister either but I'm so happy (and jealous) that my girls have each other and are close.

You have some terrific girls there (the boys aren't bad either :)) I'm glad they are feeling better.

Jennifer in TX said...

Hi MacBeth,

What a great post. I can commiserate with you. I was the only girl and had two younger brothers and was constantly begging my parents for a baby sister! But, like you, I had some girls (four of them) and I am so happy to see how much they love one another! I am glad everyone is on the mend at your house. :)

Matilda said...

Teary eyed here. You can't imagine how much this spoke to my heart!

Sarah said...

I too prayed for a sister...and got a brother.

Then, years later, Dad remarried and my stepmom got pregnant and...it was a sister.

Then, years and years later, I married and got pregnant and...girls both times (so far).

God is good! :)

Thanks for sharing this fabulous post, by the way. It really touched me.

turtlemama said...

I was an only child and desperately wanted a sibling of either gender. One of my favorite aspects of motherhood is watching my three girls play together and love each other. The excitement that they share as they await a new sibling is priceless. Hope your girls are on the mend.

MacBeth Derham said...

I am so glad you all liked this post! I seem to rarely have time to really reflect on these matters anymore, but this just really hit me. Thanks for all the kind comments, especially from those who, like me, endured brothers (I adore my brothers, but while growing up...ah, well, another story, another time, LOL!).

Anonymous said...

I had three brothers and desperetely wanted a sister. I used to think if I had a sister, I would have had a better childhood. I have a daughter now and for the first few years of being a mother I was desperate for her to have the sister that I didn't have. Several miscarriages later, she is an only child and sometimes I'm sad for her. I've had to come to terms that she may never have a sibling. I realized that I have to try to give her all the love I can to compensate for this. Perhaps you can pray for our family the next time you feel a tinge of jealousy for your daughters. Perhaps, someday in God's time, not mine, my daughter can have the joy of a sibling - be it boy or girl.

MacBeth Derham said...

>>Perhaps you can pray for our family the next time you feel a tinge of jealousy for your daughters. <<<

Gladly! Thanks for your story!

Alice Gunther said...

Oh, boy, MacBeth, this only child hears you!!!!

I often look at the girls--three pairs of them--and think, "this is so beautiful" and "boy, I wish I had one of those!"

That's why God gave us great friends, particularly the ones who swing by at two seconds' notice when you need them.

Thanks MacBeth!