I vividly remember the choice to have a second child. Thor and I were almost three years from Pepper’s babyhood and ready to brave it again.
When I had learned that Pepper was a girl, my first reaction was fear. I fell back into the dark hole of my experiences with girls as an pre-teen and the monumental challenges I faced at the hands of bullies. I had seen first hand the cruelty of girls. I understood all too well the games that women can play. I did not want my child to endure that pain. I was scared of what the world would hold for her and the hurdles she’d face.
But, as the baby grew in my belly, I began to embrace this “girl”. This divine feminine spirit and the awesome power and beauty of the female. She would rise to greatness and cast a brighter light in this world than even the darkest of days. And, I came to realize and embrace that me, as a woman, a grown-up “girl”, am so much more than three defining years of struggle.
When baby V was in the belly and the ultrasound tech gave us the assurance it was a girl, my heart leapt with joy. I was thrilled. My girls would not just be siblings, they would be sisters.
A pact. A partnership. And, unending love and deep understanding.
They would fight like no other. Bicker like no other. Love with an intensity and assuredness that would stand the test of time.
Thor and I have much younger siblings – ranging between 9 years and 13 years our juniors. When we were young, it seemed to be a lifetime of difference in age. Almost unrelatable. But, as we have grown older, the age difference seems to shrink. I am also blessed with two older step-brothers. Our ages are closer, but our distance much farther and harder to reach across as the years go by. We were raised together, on the weekends, during holiday breaks and over summer vacation. They are the siblings who teased me, gave me the official ticket (a true badge with my name, photo and a safety pin on the back) into their club of boys, showed me how to climb the roof of the garage and holed up in the cool basement with me on endlessly hot summer days in California.
There is a bond. Always.
When you have known someone since they were four years old or watched them start elementary school, it seems like they have been a part of your life forever. Every memory, Every milestone.
I am enjoying watching this sibling relationship – my two girls – play out and grow. It is different than what I experienced. Pepper has no memories of her own that don’t include V. They are growing up together. And, their bond is unbelievably strong.
Pepper will be the first one to pick on V, but rage with a fierce protectiveness if anybody takes aim at her sister.
They will fight with the uproaring velocity of a volcano, but calm down and connect after as a quickly as a wave recedes back into the ocean.
Their laughter and joy with each other in contagious. The sound, the feeling. It burrows into my heart and glows down my limbs and into my smile.
Their bond is unmeasurable and strong.
On the hardest of days with the greatest struggles for Pepper, she will always find love and support in V. Always.
On the days when friendships seem like unattainable goals, Pepper will find a true friend in V. And vice versa.
My mom is one of three girls. Three sisters bonded for a lifetime. As the youngest, she was doted on and protected. Three song birds who were as close as the bedrooms they shared as children despite the miles that separated them as they grew older. Over twenty years ago, both of her sisters lost their battles with cancer. They were too young. There were too many years left to raise young children There were too many years left to celebrate holidays together, laugh together and sing together. Losing a sibling is the loss of a friend of your lifetime. A fellow memory maker, storyteller and keeper of the keys. The solid rock of reliance that will never budge or waiver. The fiercest protector, truth deliverer and wisest friend you will ever have.
I am grateful for our choice to have another child and the partnership we created. All my hopes for their relationship and the future I see take work. It takes endless navigating by Thor and I. Support and love and figuring that strategical medium of loving both equally, differently and individually.
We gave our children a treasured gift when we made the choice to become four instead of three.