I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, "Come on, all I do is fight with my sister!" and maybe that's true. As the eldest of nine siblings, having four sisters of my own, I also know that even if all you do is fight, your sister shares your history. If you grew up together, you know just where to jab during those fights because you share those filaments in that magical golden thread. In times of need, you can harken back to those inside jokes that lift your spirit because the heart knows that your connection is deeper than what you are willing to admit to yourself at times.
So, yes, I wanted all of that for my then only child. I remember how excited she was to find out she was going to be a big sister. The bright, loving baby girl of mine assumed the role proudly. Beaming. She waited in anticipation for her sister's arrival, and when she arrived in April of 2009, she was such a good sport about everything. Such a mature toddler. I sometimes find myself sobbing, reliving the guilt of not being completely available to her, having to split myself between home and the hospital for such a long stretch of time, while we waited for Tatiana to be released from the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Not knowing how to explain to my baby girl that her baby sister couldn't come home because she was not well. That she couldn't visit her baby sister because of the strict visitation policies meant to protect the fragile babies of the NICU. Searching in frustration for that perfect book to help me explain all of that while I was just making sense of it myself. Thankful that she got to meet her at least once before being restricted from entering the NICU.
As an adult, I struggled to make sense of how and why my newborn baby girl was going through this. I can't even imagine how a three year old was making sense of it all.