Friday, November 2, 2007


Very recently, the girls started playing well together. And, while I do catch an occasional shove or slap on Olivia's part, they can actually play for quite some time together in the play room. When I say play, I mostly mean Lila watching Olivia play with her dolls or sitting quietly while Olivia uses watercolors to paint Lila's hands and face (I missed a good photo-op yesterday because I washed it off before I realized I hadn't taken a picture).

Matt recently asked me if I thought they would be good friends. Best friends, as many sisters are. It's too soon to tell. And, it's a question I try not to think about too often. Simply because I have three sisters and we did not get along growing up. Especially my sister, Sarah, and I. We are just over two years apart and we fought to kill. Drowning each other in the pool? We tried it. Pulling hair, punching, yelling. As teenagers, she would scream into the phone mean things, and then unplug it if I was on it too long. She once put something clear and nasty on my toothbrush so when I brushed that night, I nearly vomited with disgust. I then did it back to her. After a while, however, we just ignored each other.

So, when I was pregnant with Lila and knew I was having another girl, friends would exclaim, "yeah, sisters!" and look at me a bit appalled when I signed heavily. I would explain that it just didn't go well for my sisters and I growing up. Too much estrogen, yelling, fighting, crying, etc. It was BAD and I was scared of having two girls.

While we all get along now, Sarah and I, didn't really start getting along until we had children. Now, we're closer than, possibly, we've ever been. But, it's been a rough road.

So, when I see my girls playing well together, my fear subsides a little bit. It could all change. In the mean time, I'm wracking my brain coming up with ways to keep them close. I mean, my parents tried hard. We traveled a lot as a family (by the time I was 16, we had been to Europe, Canada, and 46 US States). We ate dinner together every night, had story time before bed with dad, said our prayers together before bed and spent five or more hours a week at our place of worship and engaged in bible study at home.

So, what happened? I don't know. Many would say that it was usual sibling rivalry. But, no, what we had was a little more over the top than that.

I love my girls. As every parent says, "I can't imagine my life without them." I wish I taken the news that Lila was a girl with tears of joy! I shouldn't have, for one second, been disappointed. They bring great joy to our life. But, that doesn't mean I can't fear for their future as friends!


Angie said...

There were times growing up that I didn't get along with my brother or sister. I always adored my sister, who was 5 year older, but I was just a bratty little sister with whom she was forced to share a room. My brother and I FOUGHT a lot. I think it was the closeness in age. Oh, and he was a total pain in the butt until he graduated from college. So, you can fight with either gender.

We are all good friends now, and either gender, they are your friends for life. Part of me is hoping for a girl this time, too, so that Ashlyn can have a sister. Of course, then she wouldn't have a brother, so it really doesn't matter.

Trish said...

The photos are great, Natalie. They did get a few good ones.

As far as the sisters comment, I wonder about my girls. My sister and I were pretty horrible to each other, too. I hope that I help them become friends, but I guess it's really only that "hope". When you figure out how to do it, please pass along your wisdom.

Alaska Dunns said...

Someone once told me, "Being a mother is the biggest guilt trip you'll ever take." Isn't that the truth?!? I spent so much time when Daniel was a baby wondering how I was going to screw him up. (You know, how you look back at your parents and all the crazy things they did and why you turned out the way you did.) And now with 3 boys I am more relaxed but I'm still plagued with questions of how to avoid "birth order" stereotypes, should we have another to keep Mikey from being the "middle child", how do I stop the already-present grown-up role that Daniel assumes with his brothers, and so much more...

I asked my aunt once how her 3 kids ended up so amazing and she said, "Always treat your kids with respect." That's my goal and I've expanded that to include everything I model to the kids, especially the way I treat and talk to my husband. Believe me, I screw up more often than not. But I'm hoping that through the years I will slowly tip the scales as I learn how to be a good model for them. I am only responsible for how I act. If I am acting correctly, then it is up to them to make the right choices. That takes a little of the guilt off me.

I'm glad your girls are getting along. Enjoy it. There's nothing quite like little brothers and sisters playing like friends. So cute!


House Dad said...

Don't sweat worrying whether they'll be best friends. Make sure that they know you love them. They're going to go through periods where they wont like each other and times when they're best buddies. Let them decide how it works out.

Angie said...

I've been thinking about this a little bit more. Just as you didn't get along with your sister, I didn't get along with my brother for MANY years, truly not really until he was out of grad school, so 2000? I believe we stopped getting along around 1984 or 5, so that was many years of fighting. He could truly make me cry (and usually did) every time I saw him, even as an adult.

I realize that part of me has been dreading the idea of a son, because to me younger brother=torturer. I know that much of that is personality and, in part, even the way my parents handled our interaction. My best friend had an older brother, who was great, so I always thought that would be the better way to go.

Anyway, I dreamed last night that I DID have a daughter, with no name picked out. She was apparently a freaky kid, by her second day she had said "mommy" and "daddy." By the third day she was scooting around the room. Allen was excited that she was smart, and I thought that she must have some kind of disorder.

Ok, I really should have emailed you, instead of going to your blog, but I've been thinking about this lately. Plus, just as Holly was talking about, Times recently had an article about birth order.