Friday, October 2, 2009

Sisters and Brothers

It is amazing to watch my boys fight. Kyle constantly makes "ugly" jokes about Will. And Will has finally figured out how to defend himself and now is armed with "stupid" jokes about Kyle. And so it goes. They never bore of their endless put downs. They seem to thrive at this game of one-up-man-ship. Hard to believe, but this is almost more fun for them than killing Nazi Zombies.

But then I notice the little things like Will proudly showing off his armpit hair to Kyle. Or Kyle trying to hook Will up with the right music so he won't appear to be "such a geek" with his friends. Will loans Kyle cash, so Kyle has the money to take out his girlfriend. Kyle includes Will with his friends. Sometimes they actually seem to like each other.

And then there are the hours that Kyle spends trying to improve Will's mastery of the James Bond oo7 video game. To Will, Kyle is the video game God and no matter how hard he tries he can never be as good as his big brother. Eventually, Will shuts down. Kyle clumsily and inappropriately tries to tease Will out of his bad mood. Will stomps out of the room crying and slamming doors.

Immediately I get mad at Kyle. Will comes to Kyle's aid. And I am left confused.

Before I can sort everything out, neither kid remembers anything that has happened.

They call it unconditional love. And as a Mom I sure hope they have each other's back when they have to pick turns changing my diaper.

I know all about unconditional love with a sibling. My sister once sprayed PSSSSST (the dry shampoo that supposedly dyed your hair grey) in my hair. I was so mad I actually knocked her down and started pounding on her back. She still loved me. Another time, I got so mad at her I took my fingernails and dug them into her arm. Blood came and I freaked out and ran home to tell my Mom. She continued to love me.

As we got older, Georgie was the only one who could quiet an emerging panic attack. She would tell me to ride the wave in her calm and loving way. She was right there, running after my gurney when I emerged from a surgery, telling me everything was fine. She got to me before even the doctors could. And she never judged me. Ever. We laughed at our mother when she would fart in the grocery store and whiff the smell around. She had my back always. And I tried to have hers.

But today I want to remember my sophisticated, conservative sister dancing on the table at a night club in Ibiza with one long gold earring dangling from her ear. I smile, thinking about the adventure we had ending up on the back of two boys mopeds late that same night. I want to think of Georgie's laughter and remember the time I took out a bright red lipstick and smeared it all over my mouth.

"Who do I remind you of?"

"Mom, of course." Georgie said laughing so hard I thought she was going to barf.

Thank God for Georgie.

Today would have been Georgie's 55th birthday. Instead of buying her a present, I go out every year and buy my boys a small gift. I need to celebrate today because Oct. 2 represents something special to me. The biggest gift of all. The gift of a sister who loved me unconditionally and with one look could make me laugh until my sides hurt.

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