Having siblings is definitely a gift. There is nothing quite like having another human in the world that comes from who and where you do. No one in the world could possibly understand things in quite the same way or share your world view the way a sibling does. For me, I won the sibling lotto with my BigSister, Anita. She is ten years older than me which made for a unique bond for us, one that became stronger as time passed and our age difference became less significant. I was only 8 years old when she moved out of our family home and started college. I remember sitting in her room the day after she moved out and crying, my mom came in and she was teary eyed too. I just knew that I would miss her, I could not have possibly understood the emotions my mom was feeling at the time, but I knew that something was now missing and it was sad.
As the years passed my BigSister continued to be awesome in every way. Always making a point to celebrate me in any and every way that she could. A ten year age difference meant that she was older and wiser and crossed every bridge before I even knew they existed. What a challenge for her to witness someone she loved so much making so many of the same mistakes that she might have made and/or making all new ones that she could most certainly have helped me avoid. She definitely shared her wisdom with me, but she did so knowing our shared inherent stubbornness would mean I would be choosing to disregard good solid advice in order to learn my lessons my own way aka THE HARD WAY! She accepted this dynamic with grace and just chose to make sure I knew that she was always available for listening and love no matter how things unfolded. Having unconditional love in ones life from even just one person is the ultimate gift and I most certainly have it with my sister.
This past year my life unraveled in a multitude of ways and in times like that, your support system becomes your lifeline and your gratitude for your tribe starts to become the most important driving emotion. It’s reassuring to know that you must have done some things right thus far if you can have everything fall apart and still know that you are loved and taken care of by those that you were blessed to be blood related too and also those that you have chosen to keep in your life. I am so fortunate to not only have all the incredible aspects of sisterhood in Anita, but also the gift of friendship.
Mothering a toddler is hard work, mothering a toddler whilst 9 months pregnant is VERY hard work, mothering a newborn whilst recovering from a c-section and mothering a toddler is INSANELY hard work…. Thanks to my sister, I only had to tackle two of those three on my own.
Some times the greatest gifts in life aren’t things that can be wrapped up and tied with a bow, they look more like, love, loyalty and TIME. My sister, without me asking or expressing need decided that I needed her and she was right. She set her life aside, her job, her husband, her home and her holiday season to be there for me for the birth of Holden and for the first month of his life. A month that included the birth of my second son, the 2nd birthday of my first son and all things Christmas! This month would have been crazy intense even without the birth of Holden but it whizzed by with so much more ease than would have ever been possible without her help!
Help doesn’t really even begin to cover it, but here are just some of the things that she handled for me while she was here, many of which had nothing to do with just helping with the babies but also helping me to get my life and home together!
Helped to organize years worth of baby clothes, installed a hanging rack, helped me get ready for my hospital stay, was there for the birth of Holden, stayed with me for the entirety of my hospital stay helping me with pain management, diapering and feedings, installed car seats, drove me home from the hospital, chauffeured me to all of mine and the babies appointments for the month and anywhere else I needed or wanted to go, grocery shopped, cleaned house, cooked, did laundry, stayed up and helped with 16 hours of consecutive hourly feedings which helped us keep Holden from being admitted to the hospital for jaundice, woke up with Harvey in the mornings and gave him his morning bottle and fed him breakfast while I either slept or nursed Holden, middle of the night/morning diaper changes and baby delivery for nursing sessions, cooked every meal, retrieved polar pops and any other cravings I might have had (Christmas Tree Cakes, Starbucks, Publix coffee cake etc…), helped me give Holden his first bath, helped me purge excess stuff around the house, organized my pantry for me as well as my linen closet and kitchen cabinets (no small feat!), wrapped ALL of my Christmas presents for me, helped me give Harvey a happy birthday and Christmas, changed out batteries and repeatedly repaired broken toddler toys, gave Harvey his baths and got him up from and down into his crib and in and out of his car seat every day since I wasn’t allowed to even pick him up, made me freezer meals before she left so that I wouldn’t starve, she got me a new grill and had Chris assemble it for me and an outdoor storage chest for Harvey’s toys so that I can spend more time outside with Harvey and Holden while getting dinners made, helped me figure out how to get my double stroller up and moving, made sure I was hydrated and fed which I certainly wouldn’t have been able to keep up with on my own, updated friends and family when I was too tired to get to it myself, helped me get two boys through the Santa line, found a staple at the mall for a last minute repair of Harvey’s birthday crown, helped me to get a live Christmas tree into the house and decorated, took out the trash and recycling, helped me shoot a newborn photo session of Holden, listened with an open heart and mind to all of my feelings as they came up (of which there were many!), wiped my tears when they came and gave me pep talks at every turn.
This barely scratches the surface but you can get the idea. She served as my partner in every way and helped me enjoy and cherish one of the most special times in my life. Without her there it would have been easy to slip into a sad and lonely place and instead I was lifted up and supported and allowed to enjoy every moment.
Watching my sons get to bond with and fall in love with my sister was such a sweet experience and I know that this time spent together has created a magical connection between us all. These boys are so lucky to be so loved by such an incredible Aunt. She champions them and loves them with an intensity that rivals mine and that my friends is what its all about.
There will never be enough words to truly express my intense gratitude for this sweet gift. I am eternally grateful and know that while I will try I will never truly be able to repay her for such an incredible offering but, in the end, thats the best part. No repayment is needed and I know that. This was a selfless act done solely out of unconditional love for her sister. My heart is full and I am as lucky as anyone can be to have someone as wonderful as Anita as my BigSister.
Here’s a quick recap of our CRAZY but INCREDIBLE December together!
Thank You Sister. I love you.