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.