Wednesday, September 14, 2011


They were already fighting by the time they found me waiting outside school at the end of the day.  Third Grader had insulted Kindergartner outside her classroom.  Kindergartner had falsely accused Third Grader.  Kindergartner was crying and Third Grader was outraged.  19th grader, or Lifelong High School Student (as I seem to be), commenced the eye rolling and deep sighs. 

They stepped on each others' feet getting in the car, where they took more than their fair share of personal space and argued over grapes on the way to soccer practice.  Little Sis deliberately irritated Big Sis.  Big Sis overreacted.  Mom gripped the steering wheel.

Sibling Nonsense.  It's the parenting challenge du jour. 

And yet, every night for the past few months, after quite possibly another long day of quibbling and quarreling, they crawl into the same bed together to sleep, Big Sis's empty bunk above them.

They giggle, scheme, roll around, read aloud, shriek, tickle, confide, sing, confess, kick, snuggle, and snore in there, in tandem. They talk in their silly voices, doing "The Frank and Toaster Show" or "Hairy Joe," their own homegrown shticks, cracking each other up. Most often, Little Sis succumbs to sleep first, and Big Sis reads on beneath the star lights.

One day they'll abandon this practice, with or without fanfare, but I will never forget it and I hope they won't, either.  Despite the demons outside their doors, despite their mean and nagging parents, despite their own differences and disagreements, they have each other.

Sweet dreams, sisters