When my sister and I were little, we shared a bedroom. At only 13 months apart, it was easier for my parents to have us in the same room with one another. As we grew older, though, it no longer became a necessity for my parents, but something that my sister and I insisted we keep.
By then, we were inseparable.
One of my fondest childhood memories happened one night when my parents put my sister and I to bed in our room. Neither of us wanted to sleep in our beds — instead, we begged to sleep on the floor of our parents’ room. They didn’t like that idea too much, though, and weren’t budging on their firm “no” for an answer. We kicked, we screamed, we tried to change their minds … but it just wasn’t happening. We may have thought that two cries were better than one, but my parents weren’t fazed in the least.
As we each cried and became more and more upset, I remember so clearly looking over at my little sister, who was laying in her bed, and deciding to climb in with her. In that moment, I knew she was the only person in the world that would bring me comfort; the one who knew me the best. We fell asleep that night cuddled up with one another holding hands. And she’s been holding my hand throughout life from that day forward.
Those early years of sisterhood taught me at a young age just how strong the bond between siblings can be. They are the ones that love you unconditionally, and stick up for you when no one else will. You can go to them for anything and everything and they will always be there for you. It’s incredible — and seeing it repeat itself with my own children … well, the heart swells.
Just today, my eldest daughter came home from school and immediately let me know that she had asked her entire class to make birthday cards for my youngest son, who’s turning two. Although they didn’t have time to make the cards in class, I thought her thoughtfulness was one of the sweetest things she could have done for her brother. I see this love between them that I see play out every single day in different ways, so her gesture wasn’t out of the ordinary. But still, I’m always struck by these little moments.
The thing is, when I first had children of my own, I never really gave much thought to what their relationships with each other would be like. Of course, I knew that it would be special. But it wasn’t until I could see it from the sidelines that I was mesmerized by their love for one another, changing and growing every day.
Last night my girls had a “sleep over” with one another. Although they share a room, just like my sister and I once did, they cannot wait for the weekend when we let them sleep in the same bed together. When I ducked my head in before going to bed, I found them laughing hysterically, on a bed full of stuffed animals. They were playing “school.”
It was such a sweet, yet simple thing — something I remember doing with my own sister — but seeing it all from a completely different perspective now always gets me. All three of my children love each other so much. Sure, they have their moments (what parent hasn’t had to break up a sibling fight or two?), but at the end of the day, there is a bond there that runs deep. Even at such young ages, I can already tell that they know the true meaning of unconditional love.
It’s a kind of love I first experienced with my own sister; and then again with the births of each of my children — an unbreakable bond that’s unlike anything else. But it wasn’t until I watched my own children begin to show love for one another that I felt another part of my heart open up. This deep and burning love that lets you know you’re doing okay as a mother. Because with the love you’ve shown your children, they have given it back three-fold.