Sisters

sisters

Early last week, Boo Monkey said, “When’s Sister’s Day?”  She was very matter of fact, and I realized she had an excellent point. We celebrate Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. Why not Sister’s Day?

We decided to celebrate on Sunday, Earth Day, and to make it an annual event. Plans began to simmer and brew: Dressing up was a requirement. Sunday Brunch at our favorite restaurant — the one with a chocolate fountain — was a must. The girls agreed to write letters to each other, missives full of love and praise. They would do good deeds and be helpful and cuddle. They would collaborate and put on a Show to top off the day’s festivities.

Then came Sunday morning, and it started with the grumps. The grumps slid rapidly into fighting. One sister nearly slammed the door on the other. The second sister scratched in retaliation. I believe at least one punch was thrown. Both sisters wailed, and griped, and declared their general animosity towards each other, their parents, and the world as a whole.

We took a deep breath, cleaned up and, calm restored, we went to see the chocolate fountain. Is there any ailment or grudge that chocolate cannot cure? We were dressed in our finest (even mom changed out of mom-clothes) and on our best behavior. The chocolate — and quiche, and scones, and potatoes, and three buffet tables worth of goodies — was divine. Our much-loved jazz duo entertained us. Rainbow Girl sang and danced. No one spilled chocolate on her clothes (not even mom). The coffee kept coming. It was delightful.

Brunch was followed by a dress-up extravaganza and play time. Both sisters wore mom’s shoes. They clomped around the house in leotards, tights, and my heels. Rainbow Girl, my eldest, married Elmo in front of an audience of dolls.

Then they worked on the big Show. They sang Annie‘s “Hard Knock Life” with such verve, you might imagine it as a song of celebration, rather than complaint. Boo Monkey, still tramping along in heels, was Miss Hannigan and an orphan combined. Their voices were only topped by the strength of their imaginations.

They wrote letters, one to the other. Rainbow Girl loves her sister’s sassy spunk. Boo Monkey loves her older sister’s helpfulness and kindness. They love playing with each other. They love the sense of being cared for, of being held, one within the other.

My daughters, these sisters, inspired me. Following them, I wrote my own letters, one each to the three women who have been my sisters in every way that matters, the sisters I have chosen. These are the women who have stood by me for a decade or more, who have caught me every time I fell — even when I invented shockingly disturbing ways to fall. I would not be “me” without them. In many ways, it is unlikely that I’d be here at all.

I plan to continue the spirit of Sister’s Day, inspired by my children. I’m going to keep writing letters to women in my life who have given me strength, made me laugh, shared coffee with me, and tea and chocolate, and have never judged or let me fall too far. These are the women who help make me who I am, and, for that — my sisters — I am grateful. After all, every girl needs a hand to hold sometimes, and, occasionally, the flair of pink tights and some jeweled high heel shoes . . .

Do you have a sister — by blood or choice — who has made a difference in your life? I’d love to hear what you would celebrate on Sister’s Day.

10 thoughts on “Sisters

  1. Lisa,
    What a wonderful tradition to establish in the Ahn household. All of it, even the early morning grumps. And yes, I completely agree that chocolate can solve most of the world’s problems.

    This weekend, I am meeting up with a group of girlfriends – we met a dozen years ago at a stamp art conference, having come from NJ, Ohio, Nebraska, Texas and California. Against all odds, we have maintained our long-distance friendships through it all, meeting up every couple of years in various cities across the country. Yes, my sisters of choice.

    And then, there are online friendships and collaborations – like ours!

    • Brenda . . . Your group of friends from the stamp art conference sounds like my “breakfast club” group of women from graduate school. We used to go out to breakfast all the time — and hours of coffee. Now, we’re spread across the world from England to North West Canada, Florida, Arizona, MA and MD. But we’ve always kept in touch. And we’re planning a summer reunion next June, complete with our families. I can’t wait!

  2. I’ve always had such a hard time making and maintaining female friendships, that the few I have managed to retain over the past ten years or so really do seem more like sisters to me than anything else. I know earth day has passed–but I think I might stake out another date in favor of replicating this awesome holiday for myself and my “sisters”.

    • Hi Eve,
      It’s great to see you here. I hope you are able to stake out that time! I know my life would be vastly different without my sister-friends. 🙂

  3. You and your girls are awesome. My parents never fostered the kind of relationship that Sisters Day revolves around (even with the grumps). But, like you, I have a sister in every way that counts and we make sure that we know and our kids know just how important we are to each other all the time. Pretty much every Friday after my kids go flying out the door with Daddy is Sisters Day. My sister lives 3,000 miles away, but on Fridays, while I run around straightening up the house, we chat about all the week’s happenings. And I hang up missing having her in my day to day life, but feeling so very blessed to have such a sister!

    • Truthfully, I am lucky. I’m lucky to have a few super-close friends, like you are describing here — the sisters that have stuck with me for sooooooo long. But also, our group of women — including your awesome self — and all that support. Seriously, I couldn’t have made it through the last few concussion months without you. Cheer, sis.

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