Thursday, August 20, 2015

sisters and brothers

On Sunday, two preteen girls came into the coffee shop and each ordered a drink, plus a muffin to share. The older girl slid a twenty across the counter to me and I counted her change. I brought their drinks out to them: they were seated in comfy chairs. They sat and sipped their drinks, while chatting and sharing the muffin. About an hour later, they left.

"I'm so curious about them," I said to the other barista. I have never seen kids unaccompanied by their parents in before, and these girls had the mannerisms of two thirty-year-olds, not two kids. The way they sipped their drinks and casually chatted in a coffee shop could have been me and my sister. "They're sisters," the other barista told me. "They live right down the street. Sometimes I see them pulling weeds in their front yard. Their parents pay them to do chores and then they come here and spend the money they earned."

I smiled when she told me that. I thought it was so sweet that these sisters work alongside each other, then wash up and come down to the coffee shop together. There is something so special about the sibling bond. It truly is unlike anything else. This week, Steve's brother is moving away - far away: to Hawaii. For the past ten years, I have seen Steve and his brother as best friends who love to golf and watch football and go out for drinks together. They have inside jokes and can finish each other's sentences. They have not only known each other forever, but also been raised by the same parents, in the same house. They are allies and confidants with more history and memories than any other friend will ever have.

I think about my own boys, and how one day that will be them. I think about how they are already wrestling and taking baths together and learning life at the same time, in different ways. One day they will joke about how mom could never find the keys, or how dad always waited a couple days too long to mow the grass, or how they used to dance together to "Move It Move It" after dinner. They will meet other friends and maybe even move away from each other, but no one else will other compare. Because friends will come and go and will love you conditionally, but a sibling is an ally for life.

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