Thursday, January 12, 2012

Fostering a sister's bond

When we found out we were pregnant for the second time, we both thought the baby would be a boy.  We really didn't even consider much that it would be a girl.  When we found out she was a girl, there was a moment of sadness for me (it was almost like we'd "lost" the boy that we'd been talking about and imagining for 4 months!) and then all I could think about was how great it would be for them growing and how close they'd be.  I instantly pictured them going shopping and out to lunch when they're mamas, sitting by the fire in lounge pants with glasses of wine and talking late into the night and sharing laughter and tears.

I know all too well that not all sisters have this special kind of bond.  I've seen (and experienced) it first hand.  My sister and I are 8 years apart.  Maybe it's because we didn't live in the same house growing up or because we were always at different points in our lives, but sadly, we don't have the closest relationship.  We love each other, but aren't close.  I can't help but think that part of the reason may be because we don't have the same mom.  We missed out on doing girly things together (shopping/lunch/baking/crafting).

I look forward to these things with them, but it also adds some pressure!  I know that they'll have their issues through their teen years, but I SO BADLY want them to be really close as they grow up and especially when they're grown.  It's something that I make a concious effort to foster on a regular basis. 

From the time I was pregnant, Lucy was Stella's baby.  We often talk about how one of her most important jobs is to always be sure Lucy is taken care of and protected (we'll have the same conversations with Lu someday).  We always talk about how they'll always be there for each other and be each other's biggest supporters.  As they get older, both Jim and I will have special days with them together to try to encourage them to have fun together and to be friends.

Lucy is getting more fun to play with all of the time now and we're all loving it!  The other morning Stella, Lucy and I were up in Stella's room.  Stella started pushing Lucy back onto the bed saying, "I'm gonna take you down!" I was about to stop her but Lucy was squealing with delight!  They did this repeatedly for about 10 minutes and I just sat watching with a smile on my face.

Stella got a huge cardboard princess castle that you color and Lucy wanted to help us.  (I think we spent about 3 HOURS coloring this thing last weekend!)
Stella drinking her cocoa with her blankets is something that happens every morning and every night at our house.  (It's not really cocoa, just instant breakfast to try to get some calories in the girl!)  Lu is getting big enough to sit with her on the couch. 
Trying to get Stella's attention...
I know they're little, but they are so crazy about each other, it makes my heart sing!  I was so worried about jealousy issues before Lucy was born but much to our surprise there hasn't been any of that.  I feel so blessed that I get to watch the relationship grow and to have been chosen to be in their lives.

What do you think?  Any tips on fostering bonds?  Am I putting more pressure on myself than I should?  It's one of my biggest Mama goals!


MrsStadnik said...

This brought tears to my eyes! I am also so excited about having my girls be sisters and watching them grow together. Maddie has even said to me that she is sad and she worries she won't be as close because she is so much older. I tell her she will be the cool sister they will ADORE! She likes that. I come from 5 sisters and we are all very close! I think that encouraging your girls to accept each other for their differences and encouraging that is also important. We are all so different and we have grown to love that about each other. You are doing everything right by allow them time together, having your special traditions, and family outings! Those have always been our best bonding times and what we all still talk about! Family vacations, funny things that happened over the years, and luckily we come from a family that has alwasy stressed how important family is and to ALWAYS be there for each other! Loved this post and your thoughts!!

ECUTwinMama said...

Oh, Julie, you're speaking to my heart! My sister and I are seven years apart and have only in the past five years become as close as I needed us to be. And it took some heartache in my sister's life to bring us to where we are.
My daughters are two years old (twins) and I desperately want them to be close. For us, with twins, there's that line between sisterhood and identity that I will struggle with- but I imagine them giggling over boys, standing together against mean girls, and whispering into the night on the eve of one of their weddings. It actually makes my heart ache a little bit to imagine how they will love one another.

I'm glad you got your two girls. You're going to have so much fun with them and they'll be so grateful that this was your mommy goal on day!

Lisa said...

I think that the best thing we can do as parents is model kindness, togetherness, and the importance of relationships. Hopefully, the rest will work itself out with those values. :)
I want the same thing, so badly, for my girls. Of course I get the pressure terrifies me to think of them not having a relationship growing up and into adulthood (or having a negative one).

Lisa said...

We had a two hour delay today, and stupid me went in even though it was dumping up at our house (I work 40 minutes away). I ended up coming home early and having to drive my little Prius down some scary hills...hoping they cancel tomorrow! :)

Dana said...

Oh man...that castle looks so fun. My El would have a wonderful time with something like that...

She thought her big brother was the best toy in the world when she was that age. It's so special.