sisters and mothers

We're a package deal we used to tease. Buy one get one sisters. We used to pretend to be twins and pick names that started with the same first initial and tell our mom to call us Melissa and Marissa or Candace and Cameron, obvious children of the nineties. As the oldest by two years I know there was a time before her but I do not remember it. All my childhood, all my growing up stories include her.  All shared looks, shared clothes, shared memories. 

Then college came. Our first big separation with an ocean between us. Thankfully she's smart and joined me there a couple years later further entwining our experiences and double-knotting our family's tie to the upstate of South Carolina. She was in the same dorm, same sorority, same parties, same friends. 

Graduation came and I left first again. Our paths split more, naturally, obviously as we took jobs and new apartments in different cities. Even still she was never that far away. She was there when I was heartbroken and even better she was there when I fell in love. Watching with a knowing look as T.J., still "just a friend" at that point, picked me up from her apartment for a lake weekend. 

After I got married we found ourselves on opposite coasts looking at our very first Christmas apart and I recognized we had entered a new season. The expectation that I would see my sister, have her there for every big moment in my life was not something in my control. Still she came out to Washington for a month of baby watch. We shopped, got slurpees, binged Friends. She meal prepped for me and came to doctor's appointments while T.J. was away for work.  And she was the first to come to the hospital to meet Tommy. 

Then she came all the way to South Korea to meet his baby brother, and we got to spend that Christmas together, an unexpected treat knowing now the season that was ahead. While she was there I got to see her falling in love, hear her telling me about this guy, my future brother-in-law whom I wouldn't get to meet until after they were married. I would never have believed it if someone told me I wouldn't get to be at my sister's wedding.  After all the games of dress up, taking turns using mom's old slip as a veil, all the bridal magazines we cut out pictures from to put in protective sleeves and clip into trapper keepers, all the viewings of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. It was simply unfathomable.

But instead I recorded my maid of honor toast to be played at the rehearsal dinner while I watched over Facetime and then I woke up at 6am in Korea and put on my bathrobe and not the bridesmaid dress I'd had altered back when I was still optimistic about travel restrictions and two weeks to slow the spread and all that absolute nonsense that I'm not sure I'll ever forgive. I logged into the live stream set up by the sweetest wedding planner (the same one who planned my wedding) to watch my sister, still and always my person, say her vows.

And now a short blink later and we're both moms and aunts. And while the geographic distance between us is something I am still working on fixing, there is a new closeness in this season of sharing motherhood on top of sisterhood. Which is really what I intended to write about when I started this post because the other week I finally got to meet her daughter. My niece and my kiddos' newest cousins.  

Our husbands both away at work, everyone relatively healthy, we got to have a rare sisters only our collective five children of course. The background soundtrack to our visit was a battery operated drum set and the bristle blocks being dumped out, again. And like all mom conversations the world over they were interspersed with requests for snacks, and noses that need to be wiped, and they were shouted at each other in bits and spurts across the jungle gym.  
We tag teamed breakfast, popping waffles into the toaster while I snuggled the littlest one of the bunch.  Little cousins were entertained by bigger brothers, toys were shared sometimes reluctantly but mostly generously. Bubbles and a water table proved to be ageless and bought us chunks of uninterrupted conversation.  When they were done with that we'd pass out cheerios and goldfish,  or peel yet another clementine. Lots of little feet were pushed into lots of little shoes, then we'd buckle and unbuckle carseats for a trip to the park, or we'd pile into the wagon and walk to the playground. Finally, even greatly outnumbered, with the sunshine working against us, we convinced 5 babies, each blessed with their mothers' strong will, to go to bed at a reasonable hour. And so two sisters got to sit on the couch in matching pjs, eating Nerds Gummy Clusters and watching Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. 

It was loud and lovely. Watching them all crowd around the littlest of their cousin crew, hugs and high fives passed around in abundance, I saw this new season in our sisterhood unfolding. The season we grew and hand made for ourselves. Our kids together, knowing each other better and better even as we move and settle in different places. Bonded for life over holidays spent posing for family photos, spoiled by grandparents and weekends at the lake in matching T-shirts.  And us sisters will have time again for longer conversations as our littles turn into bigs and are all able to peel their own clementines and can be trusted not to swallow a lego. And maybe the next girl's weekend our own mom will get to be there too. Watching her daughters, sisters and now mothers, and someday Lord willing grandmothers together. Always together, whether here or there or with an ocean between us, I'm so glad I don't have to know a season of my life without my sister. 


  1. Your post brought tears and smiles and made me so happy for you all. You are a brilliant writer (like your mom) and I was so happy that you included us - your readers - in this beautiful sister time together.

    1. Thanks so much Terri. You are so kind! She is easy to write about, I could go on for days.

  2. You, your mom, and your sister have such a wonderful ability to write winsome blog posts. I loved reading this and getting the glimpse into your life and those you love.

  3. So happy you were able to meet the new addition to the family and enjoy time with your sister.

  4. Well this is just the sweetest thing I've read in forever. Pass the tissues please xo

  5. Yes! Love this and love seeing all those sweet cousins together. We would remind our kids growing up to love each other because friends come and go but siblings are forever. Such good relationships to cherish always!

  6. I so enjoyed your post about sisters. I have one sister still with us and she and I have always been pretty close. But I think we are even more so now that we've both retired. I wouldn't trade her for anything in the world. Sisters are a wonderful thing!

  7. I loved this... I chuckled at trapper keeper... I remember those.
    xx oo

  8. This is such a beautiful post. What a blessing to have such a close sister!

  9. I'm visiting because your mom shared the link to this beautiful post. Sisters are special!


Post a Comment