God seems to know what He’s doing. Aside from that whole ‘creating the universe’ thing, He has an amazing sense of order. Rather than letting me out into the world first to figure things out, He gave me an older sister and let her do it instead. By the time I had made my grand entrance, Amy had already mastered things like walking and talking [well, she wasn't exactly performing soliloquies, but she had gotten down the important stuff like 'who's that?' and 'where's the ball?']. My mom said that when my sister wasn’t taking in the world with her big hazel eyes, she was asking questions, expressing empathy, telling people ‘I love you’ and thanking my mom for everything she did (including painting the garage).
Me? Well, at the same age my sister was expressing gratitude, let’s just say I was developing my leadership style. I’d stand with tiny balled fists on my hips, barking orders at my mother.
“TAKE OFF YOUR COAT!”
And, where my sister offered hugs and snuggles, my mom said that I was “really a card” and “a bit of a tease” because I’d pucker up, blow kisses until someone came close enough to give me one and, just as they were about to, I’d run away laughing hysterically. 26 years later, not much has changed.
God also blessed Amy with unending patience. She sat for hours in my mom’s lap learning colors and shapes. Then, when I came along, she wanted a student of her own. Before I could talk, her job was easy. She’d stand in front of my baby seat and recount everything that Sesame Street and Mr. Rogers had taught her that morning. But, seven months or so after the whole ‘being born’ thing, I learned to talk and here, my friends, is where I take credit for developing the majority of Amy’s patience. My first name means bright-headed and from what my baby book says, I had an answer for everything. Yet, despite all of my sass and more than a reasonable amount of temper tantrums, Amy was calm and never deterred from sharing every bit of knowledge with her baby sister.
It’s definitely a good thing Amy came first. If my mom had to navigate motherhood with a chubby-cheeked, bossypants know-it-all who laughed as she did the exact opposite of what she was told, my mom might have thought that one was enough! But, with Amy, my parents got a child who exudes all the things I struggle to possess–empathy, amiability, tenderness, bravery, patience, calm. Amy’s taught me most things worth knowing, from the ABC song to sticking up for myself. She knows how to set off my temper, but she’s also the first person to make me laugh again. For the love she’s shown me since I arrived, for all my toddler temper tantrums she’s endured, for all the wisdom she’s imparted, and for all of the silliness only sisters can share, I am thankful for Amy.
What are YOU thankful for?
This post is part of a project called 30 Days of Thanks, a daily reflection on gratitude spanning the month of November. For all the posts, click here.