Wednesday / April 11 / 2012
Sissy Laughter: the milk out your nose kind
Cut from completely different fabrics — she like our sweet-tempered Momma, me like our feisty Grandmother — my sister Debbie and I never thought we looked alike. That was until we were both in our brother Mark’s wedding, wearing the same exact dress, donning the same exact hair style.
As we emerged from the dressing room, a wedding guest remarked, “Wow! Are you twins?” Having never been mistaken for distant cousins let alone twins, we quickly returned to the dressing room.
Gazing in the mirror, first at our own face and then at the other’s, we chimed in twin-like unison, “Oh my gosh! We DO look like twins!”
With me nearly seven years older, the now all-too-frequent observation is much more delightful to my ears than hers. “They think I look younger than I am,” I explain with a smirk.
Married to an Air Force Major, my baby sister moves from state to state. And since Skip-n-I are both restless spirits, we move just for the sheer adventure. All this do-si-doing around the country has made it challenging for Debbie and me to spend time together. But with fierce determination, we always make room. And it is always worth it.
Most recently, Sissy-n-her-Chicks traveled to the great Adirondacks to visit with me during my birthday week.
Best birthday present. Evah!
From homemade french toast (which Debbie’s husband fondly describes as, “butter and cinnamon sugar with a side of bread”) to impossible-to-resist nightly petitions from Toots and Cha Cha to tuck them in, each day of their visit was like sucking fizz off the top of a fountain soda so none goes to waste over the side.
“Sucker!,” my sister would chide as I surfaced from her daughters’ bedroom long after I submerged to tuck them in for the night.
“I know! We picked the longest story we could find,” I readily admit, beaming at Debbie with pride for the loving, doting, selfless Mama she was born to be.
Then we sip wine. White wine. Cavit pinot grigio out of fancy glasses with red swirls. And we catch up on life. The kind of catching up you can only do in person, after the kids are in bed, when you’d trade time with your favorite pillow for sharing life with your Sissy Soul Mate any day of the week if you could — and this week, you can.
I have friends, good friends, even people I call best friends. But my sister falls into a special category as she is all of those AND my blood (…which I can now admit to with confidence since we’ve grown enough to look so much alike).
We share pain, we share love, we share laughter. Milk-out-your-nose laughter. The kind you see so authentically captured by my daughter in the picture at the top of this post. I love this picture because it encapsulates how uninhibitedly I live around my sister. How freely we engage with one another.
It’s the kind of connection I see mirrored in my young nieces. The beginnings of the bond of sisterhood that will last for all time.
I watch as Lainey covers Caroline with loyal affection whenever she gets hurt or feels left out. I watch as Lainey lovingly strokes her baby sister’s hair during the scary part of a movie. I watch as Lainey takes Caroline’s hand while we’re walking around the children’s museum so she won’t miss anything good. And I know the depth of emotion behind each strategic, protective move.
I know because I see me with my baby Sissy.
As I pet my sister’s long, enviable curls and we dream together about her girls’ future, we smile because we know they’ve found priceless treasure in one another. “Just like us!“