As a little sister, I have some serious little-sister-syndrome that firmly manifests in my constant nagging at Lee to pay Lucy as much attention as he pays Molly (he does…mostly). I can’t help but feel that Molly had a full 20 months of all of the attention while Lucy, my poor, put-upon second child, has had to share us all from minute one. She even has to share her very first birthday with Thanksgiving. Poor baby. Being the second is so hard. You can hear the violins playing, right?
Maybe that’s why Lucy already has the sneaky little-sister look mastered – the “I understand what the word NO means but I’m going to go ahead and splash in the cat water anyway” look – the “I don’t care that it makes you anxious; I’m going to jet up these stairs as soon as you turn your back” look – the “You keep telling me not to spit my food out at you as soon as you put it in my mouth but I really don’t care if you think it’s gross” look. To say that Lucy at ten months is a handful would be doing an injustice to understatements everywhere. Every so often, when she’s standing on her own in the middle of the room, screeching like a bird in heat, or chewing on her dad’s hairbrush, or pulling open cabinets and finding the one pair of scissors that I misplaced several months ago, or stomp-crawling down the hallway with a block in each hand, Molly will look at me and say, “Mom, Lucy is so pesky.” Yes she is, Molly. Yes she freaking is.
But do you know the one thing that stops Lucy in her tracks – what will make her pause mid-climb out of her high chair, even when she’s been strapped in? Molly starting to sing a song. What makes her stop screaming like a banshee? An unprovoked hug from her sister. What makes her sit still for just a minute, stopping her reign of terror for long enough to catch her breath and stare in bemusement? When Molly sits next to her, puts her arm around her, and starts to read a book. Little sisters are so put-upon, right? They have to share everything. They can never have anything to themselves. Except that’s totally wrong – because while Molly may have had all of us for 20 months while Lucy has to share us, Molly only got us – while Lucy has her big sister, right by her side, to help her, to guide her, to encourage her and tell her when she’s making bad choices (even though she probably won’t listen) and to love her wholly and unconditionally, forever.
If I’m being honest, little sisters actually have all the luck.