Friday, May 20, 2011

Bear

Getting the kids ready for school this morning, I walked in on them mid-fight. They are pretty sweet 99% of the time, so the "fight" was pretty watered down as sibling rivalries go, but it was happening, nonetheless. As I turned the corner into the room, I saw Ireland grabbing Sean by the arm (she is the more violent of the two), and Sean was saying something about how much he didn't like her. Both were upset. As they turned and looked up to see me standing there watching, they both got sad, and I did too. I gave a dramatic pause and said, "This makes me really sad to see." Tears started flowing from both of them. Not the kind of tears that say, "Dad, don't get mad, because I'm really upset and this crying is my defense mechanism to prevent you from punishing me." No, these tears were legit and came from inside them, the guilt of what they were doing actually weighing on those precious little hearts of theirs. We had a nice talk, and they listened well, and I heard my own father's voice come out of me as I watched myself almost out-of-body-like, in disbelief that the words I had heard years ago (slightly varied with my own personal spin on them) resonated in the air.

"You are each other's best friend, and you will be forever. You may not realize it right now, but you will, and you need to treat each other with love and respect all the time, no matter how hard it is."

Ain't it the truth.

So all morning I've been reflecting on a very special relationship I have had since I was not even two...with my sister Erin. I remember my dad telling me on several occasions how much she looked up to me, how nice of a girl she was, how important my relationship with her was, and how I should treat her and all women. (Jesus, I just now remembered that I told Sean about being a gentleman last night, too...he was carrying 3 bags into the house, 2 of which were Ireland's). Anyway, my little sister used to get on my nerves something awful. She tagged along everywhere, copied everything I did, and just all-around-irritated the shit out of me since I can remember. But as I got older I had the real pleasure of learning my lessons, and letting her in. By high school, she was my best friend, and she was a lot of fun. I enjoyed hanging out with her, finally, and I swear it wasn't just because she had cute friends (a point my dad was sure to include in his early speeches). No, Er Bear was, and still is one of the funniest, real chicks around. She gets it, on many levels. I never have to hold back with her, and that's what I love about her: I can be myself, and she will love me regardless, which is the same way I feel about her to this day. She is a beautiful woman now, and the proud mother of 3 of the coolest kids every to grace this world with their beautiful, positive, energetic presence...they came from someone who knows what that is all about.

Erin was always the "mom" when we grew up, not only because she wanted, like so many little girls, to grow up and be just like her mom. No, she took it to the next level, which included mothering professionally, like as a choreographer for family dinner night "shows" (lip sync performances of the highest quality, led by my cousins, sister, and oft-backed by my little brother on air guitar...poor kid didn't have a chance, getting thrown in with all of those women.) She was motherly in her babysitting duties, a profession she had on lock down at an early age. She was motherly in her care and concern for others like myself and my bandmates in high school. We would be making horrible music in the basement after school, and here would come Erin with a plate of fresh-made sandwiches. Delicious. Erin had a lot of killer qualities, and it's amazing to see them repeated in those wonderful children, my nieces and nephew.

Just like anyone in this world, Erin has good days and bad days, and even when they are bad she gets up early, takes care of her kids and her husband, and everyone else in the world along the way. She has done a superior job taking care of me, my kids, my friends, and anyone she comes into contact with. She is amazing. When I pause every day to count the blessings I have in my life, she is right there on the list every time. I am so lucky to have a sister like her, because she gets me, and she sets a great example of how to be accepting and loving, and make people smile along the way. I love her.

Er Bear, I hope you take a minute today and count up all of those blessings in your life. They are many and massive, and they are ALL a result of the love you have put into the world. What we give, we get, and you got a lot, little sister. And you deserve it all. And even though I know I deserve the same things, don't think for a second I take any of them for granted...especially you.

3 comments:

Erin said...

I may have just done the ugly cry. A lot.
Thank you, Bri. I love you too.

mohap247 said...

This makes me smile...MAN did we get lucky in family or what? This was beautiful writing that generated some tears over here...and then when I read Erin's responce I started laughing so hard. Gotta love the ugly cry.

Ellen said...

what, pray tell, is the UGLY CRY? hahahahahahahahahahaha...I think I hear it.....does is sound like chubbs?