My girls are 22 months apart. They’re close in age and they’re close in spirit. They’re close in understanding, in some mindmeld secret way: they communicate without speaking, with eyes and giggles and squeezy hands. They’re coconspirators. They laugh at stories for which we’ve only heard the first half — somehow they know the punchline, while the rest of us look around, guessing.
They have a private language.
One will say, ‘can we buy a chocolate bar so I can give it to my sister?’ and the other will say ‘I think you should pick the purple — that’s what my sister likes.’ They look out for each other when they’re apart, feeling across their heartstrings to each other, keeping connected in gesture and thoughtfulness that belie their young ages, brought forth especially in their relationship beyond any other.
When the younger sister has a bad dream and wanders into our room looking for comfort and finds the bed empty, because we’re still downstairs, she seeks comfort in the bed of her big sister.
They sleep with arms entwined.
Our older girl, just learning to read, practices by reading storybooks to her sister. Our younger girl, recipient of nothing but hand-me-downs, thinks her clothes are the coolest, because they once belonged to her sister.
After the girls we had a son, who is doted on by both his sisters. We strive to cultivate strong sibling bonds amongst each of the three kids, and they’re a great little crew, truly adoring and caring of each other. Maybe it’s because our boy is just two, and not yet as communicative, or maybe it’s because our boy is our only boy, or maybe it’s just because I don’t have my own sister: but those girls, let me tell you, they have a special thing.
It’s a marvel to behold and it’s a privilege to nurture. And I’m so happy for you, Lacy, that you’ll get to experience it, too. I’m so happy for you and your whole lovely family.
PS- They’re still regular kids. They bicker with each other every day. But when night falls and teeth are brushed and pajamas donned, just before they separate to their own rooms, they meet in the middle of the upstairs hall and hug each other goodnight. Is there anything sweeter than that?