Time has a funny way of changing how we look at things. The very things that seemed like a death sentence to me as a child now are the very things I long for. I can still hear my mother’s warnings like it was yesterday. “You two should be nice to each other. You will wish someday that you could spend time with your sister.” My siblings and I had our fair share of disagreements. I suppose all siblings do at some point. My little sister was like a thorn in my side most of the time being 4 years younger than me. She followed me around and never wanted to play what I did (or so it seemed). When a friend of mine would visit there she would be close at our heels. We shared a bedroom for most of the years of our childhoods and privacy was something that didn’t exist. When I was blossoming into a teenager she of course thought she should be able to do all that I did. My make-up and clothes were fair game in her eyes. Not all of my memories of her are bad though. I do have fond memories of us playing Barbies while listening to Donny Osmond on the record player. (The record belonged to our older sister, so I guess I was guilty of committing the same sibling crimes as my younger sister was.) We once rode her mini-bike (motorcycle) around our garden one spring day. Much to our dismay half way around the garden the tires began to sink into the soft, wet mud. Neither of us wanting to face the wrath of a clean freak mother we both held our feet up expecting the other to maintain our balance. Needless to say instead of getting our feet wet and muddy our bodies were half-submerged in the goo of a spring garden. We did manage to get the bike out of the garden by using boards (why we did that I don’t know because we were covered in mud at that point). We “cleverly” disposed of our soiled clothes “discretely” in the floor of the laundry room in plain sight. We thought we would never be found out. I know our mother had to see those clothes but she never said anything about it.
I have been blessed to be able to spend a good bit of time with my pesky little sister this summer. It brings back so many memories of years past. No longer do I view my time with her as an undeserved punishment. I now see the wisdom of my mother’s long ago words and treasure each moment we have together. We spent the day at our childhood home this week with our parents working alongside our dad in the garden picking okra. That simple act brought back so many feelings. Our conversation was limited to the growth of the vegetables and we worked in the rain at one point. We heard the rains coming just as I remember doing so many times as a child. But the memory of that day will stay with me forever.
Today we met our parents for dinner and our dad told us how much he enjoyed our time in the garden this week. It is amazing how such a simple act can illicit deep emotion and leave such a lasting impression on you. So, tomorrow (like everyday this week) I will be with my little sister. I will work alongside her and our dad as we perform a task that was once a chore which has magically been transformed into a gift.