Sisters Day

Posted by on Jul 28, 2013 in Parenting, Relationships

Sisters Day

“no won alowed exept Clara and Rachel!!!!!”  my daughters’ message written in red crayon on pink construction paper, attached to the door knobs of their bedrooms with green and white pipe cleaners

This morning, my husband sent our two little girls to wake me up.  Clara (7) and Rachel (4) came running in, squealing with excitement, and from my deep state of sleep, I heard, “Mommy!  Mommy!  We found so many worms!  You have to come see!”  All three of us still in our pajamas, I followed them downstairs, poured a hasty cup of coffee, and headed out to the front step of the house.  Clara proudly displayed the blueberry container filled with dirt, leaves, and twigs, while Rachel told me to look underneath.  Yes, 20 worms (to be precise, as Clara likes to be) were cuddled together in their slime, creating a swirly design through the plastic bottom.  A morning of digging for worms had joined the girls in a shared purpose, delight, and triumph.

Next Sunday, August 4th, is National Sisters Day.  It really does exist, and takes place on the first Sunday in August each year.  Although I’m sure that Sisters Day was created for commercial purposes, I see it as a great opportunity to celebrate, at least in our home, a relationship that is special, silly, creative, loving, competitive, private, protective, jealous, tender, and above all, safe.

I always wanted a baby sister.  Perhaps I imagined she would be like my very own baby doll to feed, cuddle, dress, and put to sleep, but she would make real sounds and smile at me.  Ha!  Watching my daughters and trying to help them build a healthy relationship has been eye-opening.  Of course, every sibling relationship is complicated.  My big brother, Jay, loves to remind me that, when I first invaded his world, he fantasized about tying a bunch of balloons around my waist and watching me float up, up, and away, into the distance.  Jay and I had our ups and downs and are now good friends.  But the daily intensity I witness in the relationship between Clara and Rachel makes me think sisters are different.  I get the sense, professionally as well, that the way a sister relationship unfolds over many years has a tremendous impact on a woman’s sense of self, her ability to be intimate and to work through conflicts, and her sense of purpose in the world.  This power is one reason I look for ways to affirm and honor what my young daughters mean to each other.

On Sisters Day last year, Rachel and Clara painted wooden hearts for each other and picture frames for themselves, in which they each put one of their favorite sister pictures.  This year, I took each of them aside to complete sentences about the other, which they will give as gifts next Sunday.  Some of my favorite responses include:

I love it when Clara… plays with me.

I love it when Rachel… asks, “Do you want a night-night kiss, a night-night hug, or a night-night nothing?” 

Some things Clara and I have in common are… we both like horses. We both have the same last name.  We both have green nostrils and blue teeth. 

I would describe Rachel as… huggy, full of energy, and loving. 

When Clara and I are all grown up… I will say, “Come with me, and let’s explore America.” 

Some things Rachel and I have in common are… we both have chicken tika masala as our favorite food.  We both love cheese.  We both love LEGO Friends.

One thing I want to tell Clara on Sisters Day is… “I love you, Clara. You are the best Clara in the whole wide universe.”

When Rachel and I are all grown up… we will still be friends and sisters.

Happy Sisters Day.

About Lynn Davies

I am a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor with a Master of Science in Pastoral Counseling from Loyola University in Maryland. I have been in private practice for over fourteen years and have experience working with adults and adolescents, addressing a variety of issues: anxiety, depression, relationship problems, past or current trauma, eating disorders, self-mutilation, bereavement, parenting concerns, boundaries, and self-care.

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