One evening last month, my husband and I were out walking in our neighborhood while the girls biked ahead of us. They are currently fascinated with the Canada geese that are occupying the ponds in our neighborhood. We first spotted one, now there are two. They’ve assumed there’s a male and a female and have named them (and their potential goslings) after characters in David Copperfield.
Our 11-year-old had brought my camera just in case they glimpsed them this night. As my husband and I approached from behind our daughters, I stopped, wishing I had the camera, loving the look of them, both still, side by side, straddling their bikes.
They’re so different, one taller and broader, brown-haired, quickly growing into a young woman. The other, lighter-haired, and still girlish.
She had given the camera to her older sister, and I saw her looking up at her as she snapped a photo – looking up both literally and figuratively. This younger one is very much her own person, yet I know she watches her older sister’s every move.
They have been given the gift of each other. Okay…they don’t always see it that way. I pray that life will make them the best of friends, bond their hearts. I try to remember this in those moments when it doesn’t seem like that will ever happen. Just two years apart, there’s so much to tie them together. They’ll share so many memories of vacations and chores and holidays and everyday moments – like walking barefoot through the muddy backyard just yesterday.
They’re learning so much about living with another person, respecting someone else’s wishes, putting others first – and yes, how to fight and disagree and make up and forgive. And on those days when I feel like just a referee, I need to remember my own brothers and sister and the relationships we have – and how they still seem to love me in spite of all the “bossing around” their older sister did!
George Bernard Shaw said, “A happy family is but an earlier heaven.” May God give us the grace and the strength and the wisdom to build those happy families!