Sunshine and Lily are playing quietly on the floor behind my computer chair. They have scattered their scissors, stickers, notepads and crayons all over the carpet, but they aren’t fighting with each other. I’ve come to treasure that working-together silence; the times when they can play with each other as sisters or just side by side, without screaming or whining or poking or pulling or fighting.
I’ve enjoyed watching their relationship develop as Lily has grown up. Sunshine was delighted to meet her when she came home from the hospital. We have several cute pictures of Sunshine hugging Lily tightly (almost strangling her) with a huge smile on her face. Yet there were also times when Sunshine resented Lily, because Lily demanded instant attention when Sunshine also wanted something.
Looking back, it’s hard to remember exactly when they began playing together. At six months, when Lily could sit in her Exersaucer and grab toys? At ten months, when Lily began crawling after Sunshine? At fourteen months, when she could stand beside Sunshine? Or now, as Lily is sixteen months and running after her sister, hugging dollies, pushing strollers, riding trikes, reading books, going potty, and in general trying to do everything that her big sister is doing.
The other morning, Lily woke up before Sunshine did. She ate breakfast with me and then sat on my lap while I checked my email. Then we heard Sunshine wake up. I let Lily down while I started to turn off the computer. By the time I got upstairs, Lily was already there with Sunshine, holding the shirt and pants that Sunshine had found for her to wear that day.
I grew up with two brothers and while I love them, I always wanted a sister. My best friend had four older sisters and one younger sister, and I enjoyed tagging along with them and pretending that, for a little bit, they were my sisters too. I’m happy that Sunshine and Lily have each other and I pray that they will always appreciate the special relationship they have as sisters.