Monday, September 20, 2010

Sharing the love

In church yesterday Thing 2 got frustrated when I whispered I didn't have any coloring books. I have sticker books, puzzle books, paper doll books, and tons of blank paper, but no coloring books. Fine, give me a sticker book and a piece of paper. I handed her a sticker book with photos of various kinds of horses in various poses.

From when she sits down, Thing 1 hardly looks up from her pencil and drawing pad until they say the closing prayer. Fine with me, so long as she's quiet.

Thing 2 peeled two horses out of the sticker book and put them on the blank sheet of paper, facing each other. Then she drew a large pink heart over them, and wrote her name above one horse and Thing 1's above the other. Then she showed it to Thing 1 with a rather ingratiating smile.

Thing 1 smiles back, and they hug.

Thing 2 writes I Love You! over the horses, shows it again to Thing 1, and they hug again. Thing 1 pats Thing 2's back, touches her face (in a hauntingly similar way to the way I pet them sometimes when we're hugging) and they hug again.

Thing 2 is obviously pleased with herself. She is doing everything short of wagging her tail. She asks for another piece of scratch paper and starts another masterpiece. There are two horse stickers on one side, one sort of on top of the other to represent standing side by side, facing the two "side by side" horse stickers on the opposite side of the paper. The stickers are carefully chosen from the pages and pages of horses with great attention to their relative size and features. She writes "Mommy" and "Daddy" over two and her own and Thing 1's names over the other two, and draws a big pink heart between the two pairs, and a line of grass behind them. She shows me and explains how I am the palomino, and Daddy is a sort of muscular black horse behind me. She and Thing 1 are smaller stickers, Thing 1 is a reddish horse, and she is kind of a pale horse. She is so proud, she is giving me her biggest closed-lipped smile. I give her a smile and a side hug. She moves to Thing 1, shows her the new picture and gets another series of hugs. They hold each other at arm's length, gazing at each other, then lean in to hug each other again. All of this is done with almost no words, quietly in the middle of church. The love was so thick around us it was distracting.

The very sweet girl and her husband who usually sit in front of us were this week sitting a couple of rows behind us. After the meeting she approached and asked, "Are they ALWAYS like that?"

No, they're good friends and they get along really well almost all the time, but the love was running pretty fast and loose that day. Thing 2 is usually the instigator, but Thing 1 reflects it, and together they can make a love-fest of major proportions.

Maybe they were listening when I was lecturing them that if they're lucky and they don't screw it up along the way, sisters are the best friends in the world.

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