I think the two blond heads triangled together in the pull-behind bike cart look precious. Until I realize that one head is canted at an unusual angle, thanks to the small fist that’s yanking a hank of hair. That small fist had previously clutched a slurpy lollipop. That fist, not even two years old, has already learned how effective lollipops and hair-pulling are. Screeches begin to erupt from the angled head. The sticky fist bats around, entangling more hair as effectively as a strip of fly paper.
Oh, my sweet children. Two are better than one. Right?
We watch these sisters. Compare them. Measure them. Consider which one is quieter, which one more likely to cause riots. We place baby pictures side by side and discuss the similarities and differences. Like it or not, these girls cannot escape being defined by the other.
Little Friend was around for three and a half years before Little One arrived on the scene. Little Friend reigned supreme. Her hair was never tangled nor tugged. Her personality was just hers. Not a comparison to hers. Little One, from day one, has had to battle for her own unadulterated self. Fortunately for her, she’s not the type of little person to do anything but what she wants.
Once placed together in this pair we call sisters, Little Friend and Little One are forever stuck. Together. They will have sweet moments–the hugs, giggles, tickles, lollipop licks. They will have sticky moments–the fights, bites, screeches, battles, lollipop licks. But sweet or sticky, these girl are defined by each other.
Being part of a family is a messy, smudgy, sticky business. We can never truly disentangle ourselves from the influence of our siblings. We’re tangled up in each other as surely as a lollipop fist-snarl.
I rode behind the bike cart, watching the sibling’s silent movie played out in front of me. The heads banged together. The fist collected a cotton-candy ball of blond hair. The shoulders shoved back and forth. Then the slightly bigger fist offered up a new lollipop to the smaller fist. The bike tires hummed down the road. The heads relaxed against each other. And that was it. Two sisters. One lollipop. For better or worse, in it for the long haul.
This quick write post is inspired by and shared with the writers at Lisa Jo Baker’s Five Minute Fridays.