Friday, March 21, 2014


As we were getting the little kids dressed after bath time, I excitedly told Shawn about Brees and her new found love of the solar system.  At three years old, she can recite all eight planets and tell you little facts about each one.  "Venus has no water and Saturn has rings made of ice!" she told me this morning over breakfast, all things she learned from a series of videos we've been watching.  Shawn and I hugged her and complimented her, so proud of the way she latched onto this new information, adding to her growing collection of facts and lessons learned.  Her three year old mind is just soaking up every piece of information we can give her and it is an amazing process to witness.

But then Belle stepped in, a look of hurt on her face, "I can recite all of the planets, too!".  She was upset and defensive, the attention her sister was getting like a slap in her face.  She felt left out, overshadowed.

I hugged her close, empathetic towards her feelings as I have felt them myself with my own siblings. "I know that you do" I said to her, squeezing her close.  We let her know that we were proud of her, too, but that this conversation had nothing to do with whether or not SHE knew something, it was about something that Brees did.  Celebrating a victory for one sister does not mean that we are expressing disappointment in the other sister.  One has nothing to do with the other.  "I know" she said, looking down at her feet.  "I just felt kind of, you know...".

We know.  We understand.  And it's okay.  This is how it goes with siblings.  Each member of a family is different: different strengths, different weaknesses, certain qualities that are all their own.  Sometimes it feels that one person in particular just has it all together, rising to the occasion at every golden opportunity.  Some people are just naturally more charismatic than others, some people have to work really hard while others just seem to flow right through life.  Sometimes you get lots of attention, other days make you wonder if anyone even knows you're alive.

"God created each and every one of us in His image", I said to Belle.  He made us all special and perfectly unique.  He gave each of us something extraordinary, something that makes us exactly who we are supposed to be.  But, more importantly, He put certain people in our lives on purpose.  This family, it is no accident.  We are all here together, living this life, because we were meant to journey as a team, our own little tribe.  Whatever you are lacking, your sister is here to lift you up.  When she or your brother are in need, you are just the girl to run to their rescue.  Sibling rivalry, feelings of jealousy or inadequacy: these are all normal feelings that everyone experiences. Don't let it get you down, though.  For there is no greater love than the love of your brother and sister.

When I think back on my childhood: my siblings are the ones who hold my heart so dear.  Late night talks after Mama thought we were asleep, long summer night bike rides, adventures in the woods, sneaking out to the high school after party that we weren't supposed to go to: those are the memories that shape so much of my early life.  And I want my kids to know that love, to feel that connection, to experience that sense of belonging.  There will be times, I am sure, when their relationships are not always so close and sweet.  But the love they share right now, the foundation that they are building as they spend hours playing Barbies together, those are the times that will always lead them home.  To each other.



Marie said...

So so sweet!
You have great kids Liv. Siblings help us grow, make us feel special. Some times we grow apart, but we always know where we belong, as long as we have a family. Family is what matters most in life.
Love to all dear.

Vanessa said...

As always, your thoughts are so beautiful. But I have to point out that I did a double take when reading "all eight planets." Long live Pluto! It will always be a planet in my mind! It's going to be one of those things that separates our generations, isn't it? I can hear it now. "Your mom's so old she thinks there are nine planets in the solar system."

Olivia said...

The "eight" planets concept drives Shawn and I nuts!! I can not tell you how many conversations we have had about this topic! The kids think we are crazy and old, HA!!

Olivia said...

Family is everything, my friend. I will always remember the story of you and your sister and how you have reconnected. Such a blessing!