Wednesday, March 22, 2017

#SOL17 Day 22: She Who Knows Me Best


In two short days, my family and I will be traveling west. Final destination: Tahiti, where Chance and I will celebrate 20 years of marriage. On the way, we will stop in Los Angeles, to drop our 15-year-old off where she will be spending her own dream vacation: Aunt's house.

My sister Lisa and I are identical twins. All the things you're thinking are true: we share the same brain, we talk to each other almost every day, we have a thousand inside jokes that no one else understands. When Chance and I moved to Chicago from Los Angeles in 1999, the worst part about it was leaving my sister. Hands down. Our significant others are the most understanding men on. this. earth. They put up with Saturday morning Facetimes that last hours, travel plans around each other's schedules, and the fact that we know way more about each other than most people do, or even want to. In short, Chance and Garrett are absolute gems because they get it.

L-R: My Hubby, Me, My Mom (seated), My Daughter, My Sis
Since the day my daughter was born, Lisa, despite living more than 2,000 miles away, was determined to be "Auntie." The one Sarah could count on when her parents were annoying. The one she could go to with her problems. Her person. Lisa has consciously worked at "Auntie" throughout Sarah's entire life: coming out for school milestones, sporting events, and all kinds of other kid activities, which isn't easy when you have a demanding job. She called Sarah often, switching to Facetime and texting when times changed. In short, she put in the work. And now she's reaping the benefits. She's "Aunt" ("Auntie" got shortened when Sarah was around nine.) Sarah now Facetimes, calls, and Snapchats her. They have a relationship independent of the one I have with either one of them. Sarah has a person.

A year ago, when we started talking trip logistics, the big question was, "We have a teenager; what should we do? Bring her? Send her to Grama's? To a friend's house?" My sister immediately piped up, "Seriously?" and arranged to have her schedule meld with ours so Sarah could stay with her. The two of them have been planning their spring break festivities almost as long as Chance and I have. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, the beach, go-karting with friends, and pedicures are just a few of the events in the line up. Today, Lisa sent me a video of her shopping cart titled, "Spring Break Prep," full of Sarah's favorites. "I want her to feel at home," she said.

I am overwhelmed with gratitude, not just because Lisa's "taking Sarah," but because she understands - deep inside - the value of being "Aunt." It has been breathtakingly beautiful to observe as the bond continues to grow between Sarah and Lisa. Seeing them together is truly one of the greatest joys of my life. On Friday, when we arrive, I'll be so excited. Not just for Tahiti, but also to see my sister. And when we leave for the island on Saturday afternoon, I'll know in my heart that we placed Sarah in the best of hands.


9 comments:

  1. How wonderful for all of you! You are right, it does take work, but I can tell you are all reaping the benefit. As a bonus you all get a break you look forward to! Enjoy!

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    1. It really is so great for our family!

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  2. Family IS everything - as you so profoundly described. And it is wonderful that you have your twin to step in for you while off on your Tahitian adventure. Sounds like fun all around.

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  3. I am a fraternal twin. My sister has one daughter who is a freshman in college this year. Even though I live across country, we Skype, send letters and packages and see each other as often as we can. It's a twin thing I think. Her daughter is like mine.

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  4. Love this! My dad is an identical twin - they lived together for 22 years in the same room before my uncle moved 8 hours away. Because of their bond, his twin and my aunt are more like second parents. His children are like siblings (my brother was my cousin's best man!). You wrote about the amazing bond wonderfully.

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  5. They are both so lucky to have you! I love - "she has a person." We all need a person right?! Have the best time ...
    Clare

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  6. That's so wonderful. I have a niece, and I try to be as involved as I can, but your sister's relationship with Sarah makes me want to improve mine with my niece.

    Also, I still remember the one time I met her. I got really confused when she was at school one time. Of course, thought it was you and it was not!

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  7. I want an aunt like that! I'm sure it is amazingly comforting to know that, while you are enjoying Tahiti, your daughter will be in the best of care.

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