And Lord Help the Sister…

I’m at the dentist with Tenderheart, and although I know no one’s hands are going in my mouth, I’m terrified for her. She was cursed with the monkey’s bad teeth and needs braces desperately but none of this is cheap.

I didn’t consider my sister and I close growing up. We’ve grown closer over the years but we’re probably not retiring next door to each other or anything. We were never TV sibling close, which is what I always wanted for my girls. FAIL!

TV sibling close is actors getting paid to pretend to like each other. And my having three girls, the oldest of which who should have been an only child, has really been hard. I dream of pajama parties and girl talk when what I really get is rarely a dinner they don’t bicker through.

It all started the first time Moonshine called me Mommy and Sunshine yelled at her, “That’s MY mommy, Moonshine!” And “Moonshine, MY mommy told you no!” She calmed a little when Tenderheart was born, but Moonshine was a tough blow to that fragile two and a half year old.

Then the teen years hit and Moonshine started showing interest in things that Sunshine was doing. I thought of it as a bonus when Moonshine wanted to play tennis because then Sunshine could have someone else to practice with whenever she wanted, but Sunshine took it as Moonshine trying to steal her….well, her sunshine.

And believe me when I say that Moonshine doesn’t want to be Sunshine any more than Sunshine wants her to be. At 8th grade orientation Moonshine told the principal she was the anti-Sunshine.

So I was surprised when Moonshine wanted to audition for the competition choir they have at their school. Sunshine is currently in it and it never occurred to me that Moonshine would want to try out, until she did. And I don’t claim to understand Sunshine’s reluctance to help her, but I ended up yelling at Sunshine the night before her audition to help Moonshine. Sunshine had all the music and the lyrics and Moonshine had no idea what she was doing. Good grief, that’s your sister!!, I yelled at her. Would you rather she got help from a stranger?? Or a pack of wolves?? What have I raised here? Certainly not TV siblings. I raised animals that will probably never speak again and it’s completely my fault.

We have friends with four daughters that are incredibly close and it’s because it’s always been the kids against the adults in that house. Their girls grew close by plotting against their parents. I didn’t have that option because there’s no other parent to plot against, I’m all they’ve got and I don’t want sneaky kids who are always scheming against me. I couldn’t handle that so I encouraged them to be honest and they had to be responsible for each other, which seems to have bred resentment.

Long story long, Sunshine worked with Moonshine on the music, Moonshine auditioned and made the competition choir. I was so proud of her because you’ll go back a few months and see where I’ve had trouble getting her to get involved in anything. She got strep during volleyball tryouts and had a rough start to her year, but now she’s on varsity tennis and in competition choir next year. She’s taking Driver’s Ed and wants to get a job. Why would Sunshine begrudge her any of that?

Well, because Sunshine’s got her own set of problems and is so scared about college and graduating to the next phase of her life, it’s probably hard for her to see her sister who’s able to “enjoy” high school for another three years. Sunshine has IB tests to pass and colleges to choose and financial aid to figure out and a musical to finish and a class they won’t let her drop. Her plate was full, but when Moonshine made the choir and Sunshine hugged her, they were both sobbing because a torch had been passed and in that moment they were closer than they’d ever been because Sunshine was proud of her.




  1. Oh! Canada

    You’ve got insight into where they’re at and what they’re dealing with as individuals. I’d say that is the anti-fail! Well done. Seriously.

  2. Gma

    Hang in there Daughter, you are in my prayers every night to stay one step a head! You are doing such a good job!!!

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