I cannot count how many times I have thought that if I could give every woman in the world the relationship I have with my mother with their mothers that we could solve all kinds of problems in one fell swoop. It isn't like it is perfect and sometimes she makes me as crazy as can be--but my mother never criticizes my weight, my eating, my parenting or my hair. We are legitimately friends. She listens to my advice and I listen to hers. She thinks that I am smart and capable and perfect in every way. I am all too aware of how rare this is.
Sadly, I cannot give everyone this gift. In fact, my sister and mother don't have this sort of relationship. I can say with certainty that my mother loves my sister just as much as she loves me. And I don't think that she is critical of her (though I guess I don't really know). But for reasons of circumstance and personality and whatever drives family dynamics they have never got on that well. My sister has a much easier time getting along with my father--something that feels just short of mystical to me, like spoon bending. I feel like I got the lucky end of that deal but maybe she feels that way too.
I thought about this a lot last week. I was in Florida visiting my sister. She had a baby less than two months ago and I was going to see him. And to check on my sister. Take care of her a little if she would let me.
My relationship with my sister is complicated. She is a sometimes reader here so no one worry that I am shocking her with this. We have been very close at times and barely spoken at others. Our political, religious and philosophical beliefs probably could not be more different. We have very different view points of our parents. I still love her more than I can say but I do not pretend that it is always easy. Well, always easy to love, not so easy to get along.
My sister is going to be a great mother, is already a great mother. And watching her with her son all I could hope for is what I want for myself. I hope that our children grow up healthy and happy. That they always know how much we love them and give us the benefit of the doubt for our mistakes. That they always call--when they need something or just to chat. That they feel at home with us. I hope that both my daughter and my nephew will be able to look at their mothers and call us friends. Some day. After that nasty teenage period.
I also hope that my daughter never votes Republican (I hope my nephew doesn't either but I probably shouldn't admit it).
I love my sister and I know we will always have our differences. Our relationship will probably always be complicated. I wish that it wouldn't be but well as we get older we only become more of who we are. But I will always love her. And always be thankful that I got to help (even a little bit) during this time. To help her welcome her son. We will always have that.