Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Today I am a Big Sister

Early this afternoon I decided to make Snicker doodles for afternoon snack. I found the recipe, tripled it and started to mix the batter. Half way into the dough making Active Boy comes in:
"Seren, it's time to go over to Tom's so he can show me how to care for his pond while he's on vacation. Let's go."
"Okay, hold on. Just let me get this dough in the fridge, then we can go."
So we go, learn how to take care of the neighbor's pond, see where to put his mail for the ten days and hear all about how his fish almost died the night before. Mission completed, I returned to my cookies.
Right after that 'Lil Active Boy comes in, apparently up from his nap. "I'm awake. What are those? Are you making cookies? Can I help you?"
At the same time, Creative Genius comes asking the same questions.
Now, I'm really trying to get at least one pan done before the whole family awakes, so I reply with, "No, I'm just going to do these by myself today. Thanks though."
Then I hesitate, thinking of what a bad sister I sound like, and how baking cookies are supposed to be bonding and memorable... and I'd really like them to think of me as nice sister, so I say with a little sigh, "Wait, no, you can help me. Here, see these balls of dough? Roll them in the cinnamon-sugar and put them on the pan like this. No, no, don't lick your hands. You can do that when we're done. Good job. Yep, that's the way!"

Today I was a big sister. But I would have been a big sister whether or not I went with Active Boy to his job consultation, or let the little boys help with cookies, or helped with phonics, or read a chapter book out loud to someone, or helped with baths... or complained about putting the littles to bed. You see, being the big sister is a big job. We have responsibilities whether we like it or not. We can do them happily, or with an attitude. We can show our siblings we love them, or give the impression that Rilla of Inglside or an email or *gasp!* getting that day's to-do list done is more important than their lives, feelings... or even them themselves.

Did you know that how you treat your siblings is how you will eventually treat your children? A little scary to think about, I know. To be honest, I'd like to go into marriage and mothering with as little issues and bad habits as possible. That means I've got some work to do. Reversing bad habits and dealing with issues isn't easy and quick! Learning to be patient, loving and really, truly interested in my siblings (and my future children) is something I've decided to put a lot of work on during my single years. And it IS HARD! They're not always kind and loving (sometimes they can even get downright bratty) or sweet and helpful, and sometimes I've just got things to do. But that's when I, and you, have to challenge ourselves to keep being that nice, "Shall we bake cookies, darling?" type of sister.

But it won't always be so hard as the beginning.

In Galatians 6:9 it says, “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”

Pursuing these good habits, if we don't let up, will be rewarding! After a while your siblings will see that pushing Sissy's buttons won't make her lights flash or sirens scream, so they'll stop the little game (You know they're only trying to get your attention - they crave it.) Instead, they'll discover their sister doesn't react to those types of things. She only gives attention to kind, thoughtful and polite things, and psst! did you know she she's even good for book reading, school help, listening to adventures and hey! even participating in them??!! Let's put it plainly: kids are smart. They pick up on things quite fast. If you act loving towards them, and overjoyed to be with them, they'll do the same and give you lovely results. Savannah Grace proves my point beautifully,

"We have discovered that if you treat boys (even little ones) like men, and tell them that you look to them for protection, then suddenly they will act like men and will want to be your knight in shining armor." [Read the rest of her post here.]

Let your siblings know you love them and want to make them happy. They'll start to do the same.

Today I am a big sister. Yesterday I was a big sister. Tomorrow I will be a big sister. I'd like to make it count.

Maybe I'll bake Gingersnaps next.


Jennifer said...

What an insightful, thoughtful and beautiful post. You've officially graduated to advanced sister-nomics and received an A+.

I love you.


Rachel said...

HI Serenity! I am the same way...I have always had problems with putting my own agenda first. It can be hard to be the big sister, but it can be a joy as well! Thank you for your honesty and for sharing your thought on this topic!


The Author said...

Wonderful!!!! So encouraging, right when I needed it. Thanks for posting this. :) So good.

Clarissa D said...

Great post! Today I tried so hard to be a good big Sis. I played baseball with my brothers, and did good if I say so myself, and I learned about fishing lures even though fishing is not my cup of tea. Thanks for the encouragement!

Becki said...

You've reminded me that I need to be a big sister to my adult siblings too. Very insightful post :)