Here I sit, in the peace and quiet of my sister's home, after everyone else has gone to sleep. My mom, my sister, and I share February birthdays. This year, we decided to spend a weekend gallivanting about the Chicago suburbs. So far, we've bought too many craft supplies, drank a few beers, and made big plans for breakfast tomorrow. My sister is my best friend for so many reasons - but loving my kids is right up there with "makes good jokes" and "beer buddy". Per usual, my kids are spoiled with several wonderful aunts who love and adore each of them. Of course, my sister grew up with me and remembers what I was like as a baby. Maybe that's why she loves my kids so much?
I love my children. Every day, I spend time disciplining and teaching them. In a perfect world, my children would always obey and never be in a bad mood. When I'm at my sister's peaceful house, my kids are somehow more well-behaved. Perhaps it's playing the two "puppies" running around! For whatever reason, my kids know and love the energy of my sister's home and space. Her presence alone is a calming influence on them, and she rarely has to raise her voice at them.
But. Let's be real. My son is almost three. When she has to discipline him, my sister has no qualms about laying the smackdown...down. Our voices carry a similar tone and we can nearly mimic one another, so sometimes my toddler gets confused. All the better! As long as I don't have to be the only person helping keep my kids in line, I'm for it! Yet another reason I love my sister - she is willing to tell my kid "no". And bonus bragging points: she follows my lead on the method of discipline in play.
Best of all, my sister doesn't judge me. Over the last thirty-one years, my sister has seen it all. She's endured me at my worst, celebrated the highs together, and has always remained honest. Perhaps spending all the time together in the same family has given us the ability to read each other's minds! We understand one another as we are intimately familiar with one another. Sharing the realness of life has kept us humble and vulnerable with one another. Even though she may not have children yet herself, my sister is able to walk through the chaos of early childhood without judging me or reminding me of my numerous inadequacies.
Don't tell anyone, but I feel that same sense of closeness and compassion for each of my sisters-in-law, too! I'm lucky enough to have three sisters-in-law, and each of them loves and adores my kids. Being able to trust my kids' aunts with my children is such a relief! When we're gathered together as a family, my kids light up, too! It's beautiful to watch my own siblings develop relationships full of love with my kids. And for that, I love them.