Thursday, November 28, 2013
Over and Done
Last night I went with two of my sisters to Target for the specific purpose of buying matching Thanksgiving pajamas. I love this picture. We debated for fifteen minutes in the pajama section over which style and pattern we should buy. Carolyn insisted that RiLee choose since yesterday happened to be her birthday, and after some coaxing I grudgingly conceded. It was fabulous. I could have spent six hours at Target with these ladies. I love that every time I wear the crazy striped pajamas that RiLee picked out I will think of them and the time we spent together over Thanksgiving break.
Today in the midst of the cooking/Wii games/board games madness going on in my house I slipped upstairs by myself to tidy up and work on laundry for a little while. I wanted some quiet. Maybe folding laundry and straightening beds doesn't feel like a very "Thanksgiving" thing to do, but in the moment it felt like it. There is a window in my laundry room that overlooks the park and I watched the sun set behind the trees as I folded. I could hear the happy voices of my sisters talking, talking, talking down in the kitchen, the kids squealing and arguing over their games. And the entire time I felt grateful.
Twenty years ago these two sisters of mine were sworn enemies. At one point they had a hand-to-hand fist fight over who knows what. They were rolling on the ground and our parents weren't home, so we had to call a neighbor to come over and separate them. Now that is one of our favorite stories, but it wasn't always funny. We weren't a happy family for so many years. In those days there were endless divisions and hard feelings over broken and blended families. RiLee, the middle sister in the above picture, is my step-sister, although we never allow for the "step" part. I love her as my own. It is one of my core beliefs that there are sisters you are born to, and sisters that life gives to you. On days like today I'm choked up with gratitude that we matured away from our adolescent rifts long enough to realize how badly we need each other. These days I cling to my sisters!
I think for most of us happiness feels like tenuous ground that might shift at any moment. But this week I'm treading softly, trying to stretch it and make it last.The past couple of days with these sisters of mine have felt idyllic. I love being with family. I love the homemade fudge, the glowing fireplace, and spending two hours doing Just Dance with my kids. I love stealing RiLee's cell phone and responding to her text messages. She is possibly the only person on Earth who I would do this to, but somehow this is our relationship. This morning I responded to a "Happy Thanksgiving" message someone sent her by texting back, "I'm trying to teach a cat how to do back flips. Orange Kool-Aid is yummy." Afterward we laughed until my stomach hurt. I love sifting through recipes and arguing over whether or not we will make lemon pie or lemon bars. This morning one of my sisters looked at the mounds of ingredients strewn around my kitchen and said, We have a lot of cooking to get done.
But getting it over and done with isn't the point. Cooking together, being together, the fact we love each other and the hard times are over and done with is, in fact, the point. Which is exactly what I told her.
Happy Thanksgiving to all our other sisters who are far away. We love and miss you!