I have two sisters.
See? That’s us. Aren’t we cute?
I’m in the middle, both physically in the above photo and chronologically in terms of birth order, and let me TELL you how much Jan Brady syndrome is a thing. It is NOT EASY growing up in the middle of three girls.
However, look what I get out of it. I get two sisters, two supporters, two aunts to my children, two best friends, one older than me and one younger.
How many people do you know who have that?
Course, it wasn’t always roses and Nutella (which I’m going to use in place of “peaches and cream” in circumstances like this.) Growing up, we fought. A LOT. Like, A LOT. I believe it was normal, developmentally speaking, and that it took all this time for us each to grow up into the women we’ve become for us to appreciate what we have in one another. But, wow, did we fight a lot.
Now, fast forward to adulthood, and blissful relationships between sisters and cousins, and my whole family is going up to Portland, Maine, to visit my older sister and have a picture perfect, New England, complete-with-a-sleigh-ride, white Christmas.
My whole family, that is, except for me.
I have no vacation time, as I squandered it all away staying home with the baby I made recently.
There she is. Isn’t she cute?
Anyway, totally worth using the vacation time. No regrets. But that, sadly, means I don’t get to be with my sisters on Christmas. And that hurts.
But, in the midst of feeling sorry for my self, I can still see, plain as day, how incredibly fortunate I am. I have two houses, besides my own, where I am welcome, where I can stay if I need help, no questions asked. There’s all the Christmases in the future, ones where I will be dragging my husband and kids up to Maine, twelve hour car ride be damned. And there’s all the other occasions…new babies, and birthday trips, and, as time passes and our children grow, graduations and weddings.
It is a lifetime of love, a nuclear family, and the environment in which I would most want to raise my children: Where they will know my sisters, and know these women love them, and how important their aunts are to their mother.
So, it might be a bit of a lonely Christmas…though, shoutout to the in-laws for coming over Christmas morning for merriment, Judaism aside…but it is only one, in a line of great Christmases to come.
And, of course, I’ll have my children and my soulmate.
What more do I need?
Well, maybe Trogdor.
So, Happy Holidays to all, from Mark, Shannon, Omri, River, Trogdor, and Severus!