Growing up, my sister and I were just far enough apart in age to have trouble getting along. With five years between us, we had a whole world between us. We had our great moments too, of course, but we also fought pretty much daily. By the time I was a full-blown teenager she was at an age where she wanted to copy all that I did, said, and wore and I was at an age where imitation WAS not flattery.
It wasn’t until we were much older that those five years didn’t seem to matter anymore. Then we got along, talking about anything and everything, borrowing clothes (I borrowed every sun dress she owned when I went to Mexico, for instance), and doing fun stuff like the time my friends and I snuck her into a goth club when she was still only 17 years old.
Now she’s one of my best friends. Even though she lives two provinces away and I can’t just call her anymore to ask her if she wants to come over on a boring Saturday afternoon, it hasn’t changed anything else. We still talk on the phone even if it’s not as frequently as it used to be, we email each other several times a week, and she’s still the first blog I race to when I see in Google Reader that there’s a new update. It makes me frustrated now, to think of all the time we wasted growing up, blowing time on yelling at each other, throwing cups full of dishwater at each other, and carefully laying down masking tape on the floor to divide the shared bedroom at my grandmother’s in the summer while screaming at each other to “get off my side of the room!” every ten seconds.
We were lucky in that we actually spent a lot of our weekends and summers together in the same circle of friends, sort of. My best friend up north had a sister the same age as Amanda so ironically we did spend a great deal of time together. We just bickered a lot while doing it. Every once in awhile, we’d have a great moment like the clear night one summer down in Vermont on vacation when we both sat on the rocks beside Lake Champlain and I told her everything I knew about astronomy and she asked more questions, and it was so nice. The next day we probably threw rocks at each other. If only we had had more of the good moments instead of fighting with the person who was so important.
Hayley and Breanna have a little over three years between them. Sometimes I wonder if it would have been better to have even less time between them in the hopes that there would be more camaraderie and less fighting. I doubt it though. I guess it’s just part of two people being forced to grow up with each other in one small space. I still hope though that as they get older they’ll be close enough in age to be, well, close.
They have days where I am amazed I’m not bald what with all the hair-pulling I do in frustration as they poke and prod each other, scream and cry, throw things, hit each other, and drive me up one wall and down the other. Some days it seems like every single time I leave the room to do something frivolous like wash the dishes or cook supper the two kids who were miraculously quiet two seconds ago are suddenly both screaming at each other – and for me.
But they have their great moments too. Times when Hayley shares her food or toys without prompting, times when Hayley asks Breanna to come play in the ball tent with her, times when Breanna walks over to Hayley and gives her a big hug, and times when they are just so damn cute my head could explode.
Hayley loves to “put Breanna to bed” and playing Mom. She’ll give Breanna a pillow, a stuffed animal, and cover her with a blanket (which is how you know Breanna’s not actually going to sleep because GOD FORBID you cover her up if she’s going to bed). Sometimes she’ll sing a lullaby to her, other times she’ll climb in beside her and snuggle her.
I hold on to those moments because these days they’re fleeting. We’ll see if they become more common when they’re older. It’s my big hope that they realize what a great friend they have long before my sister and I clued in.
I have two reviews up today. I did a book review for a great fiction novel called Lost and Found and I also did a review of one of our favorite toys around here, some of the animals from the Noah’s Pals playset. Go check them out!