One of the crosses I bear in this veil of tears we call human life is that I have two of the most beautiful sisters (Maile, left, and Katie, middle). This may not sound like a particularly difficult burden in the overall scheme of things, but at least give me chance to make my case, would you?
Not only are both of my sisters beautiful, but by any standard, both are also extremely talented and wonderfully kind. (Katie is a fluent Spanish speaker. Maile teaches Pilates and home schools her kids. Arrrggghhhh!)
To add insult to injury they are both younger than I am (which seemed to be a point in my favor growing up but somehow seems less and less like a victory as the years go by).
Maile and Katie are also both fabulous cooks and wonderful managers of their respective homes and they LOVE being stay at home mothers (I was born lacking this gene). Their children are lovely and (usually) well-behaved and their homes are warm and welcoming.
Are you starting to see my side here?
The worst thing of all, and this just adds fuel to the fire, is that both of them are really, really, genuinely nice. I saw where they came from so I don’t feel too bad about expressing my shock at this particular detail; they used to be totally annoying and I have stories to prove it. (Here’s a picture of my 9th birthday party. You can see me in the front row, second from left–love the glasses! Maile–who clearly has aged well–is sitting in the row behind also wearing glasses. Katie is gazing adoringly in my direction on the far right. The other girls were my best friends ever. I can’t remember their names.)
This week has been a hard one, with Mark out of town, some important doctors’ appointments, the start of soccer practice and the move into Calvary’s brand new space. So, my geographically closest sister Maile (high school cheerleader, not that I am bitter) decided to pack her four kids into their van and drive 6 hours to keep me company.
Besides turning my house into a replica of the Cheaper by the Dozen movie set (although, technically there are only 7 kids and one dog here now), what this has meant for me is: my anxiety relieved as my kids are delivered to and met at the bus stop instead of heading out on their own while I try to juggle early morning meetings or fight afternoon traffic; dinner thoughtfully prepared from scratch, shockingly planned more than 5 minutes in advance of its preparation; my house cleaned from top to bottom while I was at work (“just thought it might help”); my kids’ drawers and closets cleaned out and reorganized (I am not lying); and significant progress made on Hannah’s science project (thanks be to God).
While I holed away and finished Sunday’s sermon yesterday afternoon everybody was engaged in meaningful activity (how my sister orchestrates this I have no idea). I took a break from my work and was musing about the unfairness of it all when my sister just happened to walk by (looking gorgeous, I might add), bend down and kiss me on the cheek. “I really love you, Ame,” she said.
And, I think it might be time to apologize for that unfortunate incident on the swing set . . . . As I recall it involved Maile jumping off a high swing and getting her skirt caught on the seat. As she dangled in the air screaming in terror I believe I was rolling on the ground laughing until my sides ached. And now, with the benefit of hindsight, I think perhaps I could have stifled the laughter at least until I helped her down. (But it was funny.)
Yes, it is indisputable that life is not fair. But in this case I think I may just be an unfair recipient of too much blessing.
Everyone should be so lucky.