Thursday, May 27, 2010

Sister is an Action Verb

Oh, I know that’s contrary to the dictionary, but it’s the truth. “Sister” is no more a noun than “Mother” is. No, being a sister is not merely something that you are; it’s something that you do.

And big sistering has a connotation all of its own,
one which The Practical One understands well.

That’s why she was a bit frustrated last week when logistics threatened to create disappointment in Sister Land. Monday was Senior Honor’s Night, and although she wanted to attend, she was scheduled to work 2 ½ hours away in Macon on both Monday and Tuesday.

I assured her that she wasn’t committing family treason by missing the program. I reminded her of other supportive road trips. I reminded her that she would be home for The Big Event on Friday. But in her world, big sistering outweighed practicality, and she was feeling like a fumbler. So she worked through lunch, borrowed a car, and planned to make 5 hour round trip just to surprise Little Sister on a special night.

I saved her a seat in the auditorium and waited, knowing fully well that I would not enjoy one second of that evening until she was safely next to me. I’m ashamed to admit it, but where traveling daughters are concerned, I am the Great Faithless Wonder. I begin the clock watch about fifteen minutes before any estimated time of arrival. Ten minutes after it, I am convinced that all late daughters are lying in a ditch somewhere...bleeding. And that’s exactly how I phrase it to the husband.

It annoys him.

By the time the program was ready to begin, Big Sister was well beyond the ETA, and I was well convinced of the ditch incident. I fidgeted and clock-watched and door-watched and finally pestered Super Dad to  check on her whereabouts.

He refused. Apparently, he didn’t see the wisdom of sending a message for her to return, while driving… in a hurry…in the rain… to report that she was traveling safely.

Yeah. It sounds kind of dumb to me when you put it like that too…

So I waited without update, eyes glued to the doorway to see which daughter would make the appearance first. It was the graduate. She marched down the steps and gave the grin to Team Whimsy, completely unaware that Super Sister was on the way.

From that point forward, the rest of the parents might have been watching an honor’s program, but I was watching a tennis match. I glanced at the stage… and then turned my entire head to the door… then back to the stage… then to the door… then stage…then door…then stage…

And it was at that moment that I saw Big Sister enter the building. Actually, I didn’t see her. What I  saw was the look on Little Sister’s face when she saw Big Sister enter the building. She blinked her eyes, and then her head followed a figure moving across the back of the auditorium.

Then, she looked out at me with that grin. 

Oh, how I wish I could have gotten the shiny red Kodak to cooperate!

Unfortunately, all of my pictures from the evening look like this.

I blame those energy efficient curly bulbs.

So Big Sister made it to my armpit and smiled proudly whenever her sister’s name was called. I’ll risk losing Mommy Points by saying that Miss Whimsy fared well that night, but the Big Sister Award  went to The Practical One.

And when I said so, Miss Whimsy replied:

Because Little sistering has a connotation all of its own too.

Just ask my big sisters.


CAL said...

Beautiful tribute to sisterly love.

Leslie, the Home Maker said...

Big sistering has a connotation all of its own here, just ask my two little sisters.
I am too protective and it makes them so mad!!
I would have enjoyed the program much like a tennis match, too!
You are a good mommy.

FrouFrouBritches said...

Okay, my kids are looking at me and wondering why mommy is crying on the computer. That's such a sweet story. What sweet sisters. Thanks for sharing Debbie!

A very blessed lady! said...

There is nothing like a BIG sister! I think they get sweeter once they leave the house though ;) I can totally relate to this!

Anonymous said...

Big sister are so right, Debbie, the look on Miss Whimsy's face was PRICELESS. And the award goes to Miss Practical. Way to go big sis. Since I'm the middle sister, I get to be both! (And by the way, I am super protective of MY baby sister).


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