I got your back...sibling love


One of my favorite stories from the girl's childhood is an incident that happened when Devyn was 7 and Maddy 4.  One Spring afternoon a couple of neighborhood girls came over to play in our yard with the girls.  They were "older" girls, 8 and 9.  The oldest,  who I will call Natasha, told Devyn that she had laryngitis and couldn't speak.  Devyn, who was a kind girl, got her paper and pen to communicate and gave her a popsicle to soothe her throat.  This went on for about an hour, Natasha being needy due to her throat and Devyn being kind.  Then Natasha and her friend, who I will call Ella, yelled "PSYCHE!" at Devyn to let her know that she was being 'pranked'.  My Devyn was a sensitive kid and she felt so foolish that she burst into tears.  She couldn't believe that Natasha and Ella (who was usually so nice) would be so mean to her!  I sent the girls home, brought my girls in and our day moved on.  Maddy was unaffected by the whole prank and had little response to the incident.

The next day the girls returned to play and Devyn was happily playing on our swing set with them.  All apparently was forgiven.   Maddy and I were in the house peeling vegetables for a salad while I looked out the window at the girls.  Maddy looked out the window spotted the girls and sweetly told me that she would be right back. I watched her stroll out to the swings, walk up to Natasha and hit her, hard, right across the face. Natasha burst into tears (Maddy was a strong kid) and say "What was that for?" Maddy simply replied "yesterday", turned around walked back in the house, looked at me and said, "I'll put myself in time out." I told her that she better do just that and that hitting Natasha was unacceptable. And I managed to say all of that without letting her see my smile.

I have always loved how my girls love each other.  I knew that when we adopted Mikias and then Jemberu that they would love the boys in the same way as they love each other.  And they really do.  In fact sometimes it borders on the insane.  I had shared with them about a boy that had been bullying Mikias and their reaction made me glad that they live far away at their colleges.  It is one thing for a 4 year old to hit a 9 year old tormentor but quite another for an 18 or 21 year old to set a 7 year old straight.

 Besides, Mikias and Jemberu have the same passion for each other that the girls share.    When Jemberu got to be 'captain' of the afterschool kick ball game, I asked him who he picked first, he looked at me like I had asked him a stupid question and said "my big brother".  Of course he did.  They love each other and when speaking about each other always refer to the other as "my little brother" or "my big brother".  There is always a note of pride in their voices even if they are complaining ".....my little brother is kinda crazy".

I love that my kids have each others backs.  One of my deepest wishes is that this will always the true for them.  When they are old women and old men, and Kurt and I are just memories to them, I hope they will love each other as fiercely as they do today.