Today, as I sat on the floor with you in my lap, toys scattered at our feet and you in a state of discontent, I suddenly heard a tiny laugh escape your lips. Your sister had scurried into the room, on a mission to bring every toy from the playroom into the living room, and I looked down to see that your cheeks had turned up into the goofiest grin and your eyes had lit up as they followed your busy bee of a sister across the room. She took a brief pause to hand you a toy banana, proudly exclaiming, “Here you go, Lulu!” and was off again. Your smile got even wider, causing your pacifier to fall out of your mouth and onto the ground, and the toy was immediately shoved in its’ place. Penny was completely oblivious, but I saw it. Right then my heart broke just a little bit inside.
You see, I am the big sister in my family. i know what it is like to have a little sister constantly at my feet, wanting nothing more than my attention and time. I remember wanting to be left alone to read, or play with my friends. I remember the heavy sighs when my mom would make me let her play with us, and the eye rolls when she would ask to sleep in my bed yet again.
Penny is only two, and it is already starting. Protests that she doesn’t want to give you a kiss goodnight, or snatching a toy from your little hands after you have just worked so hard to get it and are so incredibly pleased with your efforts. Being so completely consumed with building her lego tower or babying her stuffed animals that she barely pays you any mind at all. And yet when that small ounce of attention finally comes, as it always does, that “Hi Lulu!” or that toy shoved into your hands, the glee you feel is infectious. As the little sister, you will idolize and adore that silly, busy big sister of yours even when your feelings aren’t justified. And thats ok, because even though she will break your heart a thousand times, she will repair it again and again.
You see, I also remember secretly wanting to stay home and play with my sister when I was asked to go to a friend’s house to play. And hoping that she would ask to sleep in my bed with me for another night. I remember when something exciting would happen at school, and she would be the one I couldn’t wait to come home and tell all about it. And mostly, I remember the almost maternal feeling I had toward her, a combination of pride and fear, as I watched her learning and growing, finding her own friends and interests and taking her own path in life.
I’m not going to lie Lucy, it’s not going to be easy. There will be some name calling and door slamming. Hurtful things will be said, and tears will be shed. But I promise you, as a big sister myself, that no one will ever know you and love you like your big sister will. So keep adoring that amazing big sister of yours, because one day she will not only recognize and appreciate it, but she will surely adore you for the sweet and loving sister you are in return. But until that day comes, I promise to be around to make her give back that toy and to wipe those fat salty tears from your sweet little cheeks.