Sometimes, when my mother is off on one of her seemingly endless trips to Savannah to visit her family, my sister and I end up calling each other more - perhaps to make up for the non-existent daily phone calls we each have with Mom. Or, when my sister has a rough day at work with Dad (yes, they work together amazingly) she'll call me afterwards, fuming or frustrated, venting to the one person who she knows can understand. When our parents drive us crazy, we go to each other first, not looking for answers, but just to commiserate.
It's one of the many reasons why I'm so glad I have her. As an adult I'm so glad that I'm not an only child. During holidays or birthdays, when all of our family is together, we'll sometimes start funny stories about some horrendous thing Dad said or some outrageous thing Mom had done. I worry about my parents' health and I know that when the dreaded day comes, as it inevitably will, my sister will be standing beside me, holding my hand. In the times of supreme happiness or unbearable grief, we have each other.
Tonight, I pretended to drink Jamie's milk, upturning the cup over my face and making loud noises accompanied by silly faces. Both kids started cracking up and then, instead of just watching me and laughing, they turned to each other and their eyes crinkled up even more, and all of the sudden they just had a moment. It was caused by me, but it didn't include me. It was as if they said to each other “hey, isn't Mommy funny?” without using any words at all.
I suppose it just occurred to me that parenthood isn't all about me, or my individual kids and what I can give to each of them, or even all together as a family. They have each other, like I've had my sister. They'll have each other to turn to, to call or email, about whatever horrible trauma I've caused them. They'll have each other to finish amusing stories at Christmas about how I used to embarrass them, or how Jeff had whatever strange hobby that kept his attention. Whenever Jeff and I go, hopefully a very long time from now, they'll have each other's hands to hold.
Deep thoughts, man. Now I'm off to contemplate Dark Side of the Moon. (not really.)