Everyone meet my littlest sister!
Having sisters is probably the best part of coming from a big family. I have a natural girl squad no matter where I go in life and we're fiercely loving, loyal, and protective of each other as sisters should be. I'm sure no one else can love us the way we love each other, with spectacular admiration that isn't blind to fault. We don't worship each other, we see each other. My sisters can tell me I need to tone down the crazy when I need to hear it because my sisters aren't surprised or put-off by it. They're quite aware of it and have been their whole lives and they still love and support me for exactly who I am and not who they want me to be. That kind of support gives sisters an exclusive ability to strengthen and enhance each other.
Each one of my sister has left a unique imprint on me. Not only are they very different people, but each plays a role in my life that is singular and distinctive and yet both can only be defined by sister. Tricia, who you can read about in this post here, was always my built in buddy. She was my best friend from birth and I knew I would never be alone in this world because Tricia was always there. But, Sam was an entirely unique experience for me. We're eight years apart in age and when she came into this world, she wasn't another pal for me, but my own special little baby. I took to caring for her like she was my own child and a part of me will always see her as the sunny faced, chubby baby that was my whole world.
I had a first row seat to watch her grow into the person she is today and I got to feel a tiny smidge of what motherhood has to offer. All I could do is watch as this itty bitty thing gained independence and suddenly decided it wanted it's own life with no regard to it's well being or safety. I suddenly needed to learn how to stand back and watch this little baby careen off into disaster and the value of being there when I was needed without trying to assert control. That's tough, yo! It's a real good thing she had an actual mother and I was just playing understudy. Just sayin'
The truth is that kids know all along who they need to be and what they need to do. We can hand them a blueprint and "say do this," but that's our plan built on the life experience that carved us into maturity. My little sister never would have developed into the adventurous, smart, sensitive woman she is today if she hadn't been able to learn those things about herself the hard way.
Even though I want to hand it all to her, the self-worth and confidence to feel good about the person she is, the knowledge that hardship passes, the comfort in knowing one's place in the world, I know it just doesn't work that way. I also know that I can trust her. She's an independent little stinker who knows how to work hard and take care of herself. Sam is truly capable of knowing her limits and asserting her needs and not everyone can do that. I have such admiration for her ability to be her best advocate and I'm comforted in knowing how well that will serve her in life.
In the meantime, I will always be there whenever she needs an extra push or a soft landing. I might not always know which to offer, but it's only because I'm still learning, too.