Monday, July 27, 2009
Sister buddies' latest project.
"I have a boy and a girl," my dental hygenist sighed last week, taking a break from cleaning my teeth. "I wanted another girl so my daughter could have a sister too, but it didn't happen. Everyone should have a sister."
Indeed. Everyone should have a sister and the best kind of sister is a sister buddy.
I am lucky, I have a sister and we are close but I am a little sad to say that we were not that close as children. We just couldn't have been because we are 8 years apart. By the time I even have any memories of her she was leaving home for college. She has memories of me but they are more about how she helped take care of me. We weren't really sister buddies.
I know what a sister buddy looks like though because I have two who live with me. Lilly(11) and Grace (14) have always been close. At one point they slept together so often we just pushed both beds into one bedroom that they shared for years. This ended when Grace hit puberty (as it should) and I worried a bit that their tight friendship would come undone. Lilly, always one to notice and speak aloud what is going on told me frequently, "Grace is no fun now that she's a teenager. She just wants to do teenaged stuff and she never plays horsie anymore."
But over the past year or so they have compromised and adjusted and found a new sisterly way to be. In this way, Grace keeps one foot in childhood while Lilly dips a toe into teen-hood.
For example,they have a standing Friday night nail date in which they choose a movie on DVR-- usually a Disney tweener flick (this is a compromise in itself because Grace would rather watch a chick flick and Lilly would rather watch a dog movie so they split the difference) and spread out the forty or fifty bottles of nail polish that Grace has collected. While Grace carefully does her own fingernails, Lilly, out of solidarity, haphazardly does her own toenails. Then Grace bakes cupcakes for them both. It's an evening that has something for everyone.
Last week while Jeff and I went to the AWESOME Billy Joel and Elton John concert, the girls stayed home. "What did you girls do last night?" I asked Lilly the next morning.
"Grace put on a fashion show for me for two hours. She tried on every thing in her closet."
"Really?" I know this is not Lilly's idea of fun.
"Yes. She told me if I played fashion show last night, she'd come with me to the bunny shelter tonight."
Ahhh. Another wise compromise.
Like all couples they have their roles. Grace is the mommy: she cooks and bakes for Lilly and generally cares for her (Lilly accidentally calls her mom fairly frequently). Lilly is the entertainer: she comes up with elaborate plans and tells jokes and sings silly songs for Grace (her specialty is meowing opera songs and spot on accents). Together they like to devise and execute elaborate home improvement plans.
Yesterday I found a list on the table with the following words: Herbal Garden, Butter Nut Wood, Lilac Rose. "Grace, what does this mean?" I asked.
"Those are the paint colors we need to paint a mural in Lilly's room. We looked them up online. But first we're going to repaint the walls."
And off they marched. Under Grace's direction they gathered up the painting supplies and some leftover paint and turned Lilly's room from pink to blue. They assumed their roles: Grace directed the project and did most of the painting (she's no stranger to painter's tape) and Lilly entertained her while she sort of painted. At one point I walked past the room and heard Lilly doing her ghetto-talk. "Yo, G! You my dawg. This room is da schizzle."
While Jeff and Atticus and I went to stroll around the Glenview Art Fair, the girls finished up their paint job and cleaned the rollers. We found them on the couch relaxing after their hard day over an episode of "i-Carly"
Today we'll all go to Home Depot and buy more paint so they can complete the mural Grace has designed. It will be, as Lilly explains, "A mural of a meadow so Suzy Q. (our rabbit) can feel like she's outdoors."
I will not be asked to help (except to buy the paint) and that is okay, because this is a sister-buddies-only project.
Everyone should have a sister.