These last few days have been good for my soul.
Cackling for hours on end with my little sister who’s adulting still makes me feel like I’m in the twilight zone. When we’re together, it feels like we’ve teleported back in time to my teenage years, when she was the best little sidekick. I miss those days when life was simple and the only thing that mattered was the moment.
Watching our kids run around annoying and enjoying each other is the best remedy to the disconnect we feel when we’re states apart. Hearing their laughter and bickering is like an echo from our childhood. The way we herd each other’s kid/s as if they’re our own, without a second thought is a testament to the natural inclination one has when in community. It’s a beautiful thing.
While I love hearing the words “auntie Megan” ebb and flow between my niece and nephew, hearing the word “mama” is a little sweeter too. I’ve felt pride more than once when I hear Cadence stick up for my niece, who is a year younger than her. “Jeremiah, she’s your sister! Be kind to her!” and “You shouldn’t laugh at people. That’s not nice.” There’s a double sentiment that exists in her words. While she seeks to protect, she also seeks to teach the values that she holds for herself.
Now don’t get me wrong, the girl is wild. Her sassiness is matched only by Karsyn’s (my niece’s) feistiness. But there have been so many moments when I’ve seen her model the behavior that her daddy and I are so relentless about ingraining in her. So often, when she bucks our authority so vehemently, we feel like we’re failing. Glimpses of the young woman she’s becoming is like a deep sigh of relief.
I’m so proud of our family. My parents picking up the slack when my sister and I are at our wits’ end, backing us up with their grandparental authority. Spending small moments in the presence of each, individually, to bond and connect is like the basic need we’ve all been deeply craving to be nourished with. We’ve just needed this. If you understood what our family has endured, if you knew how perfectly this makeshift clan has fallen together, you’d wonder how.
For my God sister alone, who seems to be the tumult we needed to refocus us, these moments are history-making. When she looks back (as my sister and I do now) at her teenage years, she will remember them fondly. Recognizing how pivotal these years (leading up to adulthood) have been for her… how different they are than her early childhood. How beautiful they are.
These last few days, I have shared my struggle in the presence of people who truly love me. That “who do I have to fight?” kinda love. That “blood is thicker than water” love. That “you’re not mine, but I love you like your blood runs through me” love. That kind of love is selfless and sweet and powerful. It’s healing.
Leaving this sanctuary will feel like leaving my heart to incubate without me. It will feel a bit like suffocating. But it will make me return more quickly to it. It will keep me from leaving it for another year, another time. It will remind me to be grateful. Thankful to be equated to the sum of these people.
These last few days have been so so good... for my soul.