Have I mentioned before that I have the most fantastic, sassy, blunt, loyal, hilarious sister in the world? And that my life – and any bottle of wine – is just not the same without her?
It hasn’t always been so. We had our share of fights growing up and by fights I mean hair-pulling, slapping, physical pain inducing fights that weren’t nearly as bad as the hurtful things we could hurl at each other in a war of words. Somehow, those difficult times coupled with the sweet moments of sisterhood – the comforting whispers under the nubby quilt at my grandmother’s house to ease one or both of our feelings of homesickness, the shared laughter over an inside joke at the dinner table that left our parents clueless, the game nights, the endless watching of Clue, the endless watching of Dirty Dancing, the marathon Barbie play sessions, the “Spam” shows and the common bonds of watching a parent lose a job or quit smoking or go back to school or deal with a health crisis – made our relationship what it is today. And what it is today is still sometimes just as competitive, but at its roots is a fierce bond that oftentimes doesn’t need words but rather a head on the shoulder as we wrap our arms around each other.
What makes this relationship so difficult these days is the fact that we live 384 miles apart and our lives are at polar opposites. I’m home with a pre-schooler and baby on the way, she’s kicking tail at a high-stress, 60-hour a week job while getting her MBA at night and married to a wonderful man who works a crazy schedule leaving them little time to see each other face-to-face not to mention time to visit us.
Imagine my surprise when a HUGE box was delivered on my doorstep today. She’d told me to be on the lookout for a package, but this was not exactly what I had envisioned. On the outside of the box it said:
And was it ever. The box was filled with practical baby gear, adorable outfits, cuddly animals, books for both the boys, an Uncle J-painted original for peanut as well as an Uncle J-painted Dr. Seuss ‘page’ for pumpkin to complement the one he did for peanut three years ago.
All that was missing were the silly shower games (and who really misses those?) and the cake.
I know if she could be here to get me through these last few weeks, she would be. I know if she could be there during my labor and moments after pumpkin’s birth, she would be. I know if she could be here to deliver the box in person with a cake (yes, I’m obsessed) and a bottle of champagne, she would be. But she isn’t. And I love her all the more for what she did do…made me feel showered, loved and excited about pumpkin’s arrival in all new ways.
Despite the distance, despite the complicated lives, despite the sibling rivalry, she will always be my best friend, my confidant, my sounding board, my partner in crime, my favorite drinking buddy, my fashion consultant, my sister. As I await the arrival of pumpkin, I can’t help but wish a similarly strong bond for these brothers we will have created. I look forward to one day sitting back and hearing them belly laugh over messy antics at their mother’s expense, practical jokes gone awry, shared games, inside jokes about family vacation moments, and trips to the ER (they’ll be boys, I can’t possibly get through child-rearing without at least one cast and 10 stitches…per child).
Despite whatever distance, despite whatever complicated lives, despite the inevitable sibling rivalry, they will be brothers. And if they are anything like my sister and I, they’ve got a very good thing coming.