Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Stop Looking At Me!

What is it about siblings that brings out the ridiculous in all of us? You say and do things with your brothers and sisters that you'd never do with anyone else. Even as adults, it seems we just act differently with them. It seems your brothers and sisters are the only ones on earth that it's okay to smack up aside the head or push down in the mud. Not to mention the verbal abuse that comes with that shared DNA.

In our house, Gracey and Sadie are in a constant state of arguing. And the words I hear come from their mouths take me back to the same words that came out of mine and my siblings mouths when we were kids. I know I should be getting involved and trying to stop the argument - but it's hard to do when you are stifling giggles! 

Here are just a few of the phrases I've heard lately:

1. Stop staring at me! - Ohhhh...who doesn't recall your little brother or sister using this non-contact form of harassment? He or she doesn't need to pinch, poke, hit or kick. All it takes is the death stare. And, for those of us who are the older sibling, is there ANYTHING more annoying than the death stare while you are trying to brush your teeth. Who started this brilliant form of abuse? Did Cain and Abel start out like this??! And how did Noah's children act on the ark? Was there a lot of staring going on then too?  I'm voting yes, because it is the number one complaint in our house.

2. Mom!! She touched me! - When staring isn't as effective, this is certainly a familiar form of sibling abuse. Just a little touch. Nothing painful or overtly mean. It's been known to be a very small touch with a pinky finger, but it sends Gracey into a tizzy the very second Sadie makes contact. I remember my brother would often try to turn it into something affectionate. Just about the time I was ready to clobber him regardless of Mother's close proximity, he'd grab on and pretend he was hugging me instead. I think it'd still make me mad today...

3. Gross!!!! Quit farting on me!! - Oh how I remember this same "discussion" between my brother and I. I swear he'd follow me around the house expelling the biggest and most disgusting sounds closely followed with a smell that rivals a football locker room. Sadie has gotten this genetic tendency, and she loves to torture her sister with it.  I find myself siding with Gracey on this one but I can't intervene because I'm laughing too hard.

4. You are on my side! - How many times can two children argue about the sofa, and who is on which side of it? Seriously...isn't a large sofa enough room for two seventy-something pound girls? Or on a bench? Or a seat in the car. Or even walking down the sidewalk. It's amazing how unlabeled space immediately has an invisible line that defines "my side" and "your side." 

5. GET OFF ME, SADIE! - My personal favorite. The complete and total disregard for personal space. What is it about sitting on your sibling that seems like a good idea? And do you really think you'll get away with it without any complaints from the one being sat on??

If you notice, I left Billy out of this one....but he has his own way of picking on the girls. I wish I could remember exactly what he did at the Memphis zoo to send Sadie right over the edge and refuse to even talk to him. She wouldn't so much as stand near him either. (And, yes, I giggled...)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

It's A Girl

Thirteen years ago - at the end of October 1997 - I got sick eating a hot dog for lunch. For some reason, I knew that wasn't just a normal sick feeling - and decided to take a pregnancy test. The following June, we were driving home from the hospital with our new baby...scared to death!  Little did we know how blessed we'd be with our firstborn daughter.

We were so excited to have a baby. I'd always prayed for a little girl - and for her to be as sweet as the McWhorter girls whom I'd babysat for so long. I can tell you without a doubt that God answered my prayers.

Gracey and her bffs Callie and Katie

Gracey has to be one of the sweetest and most empathetic children I have ever known. She's always had such a sensitive nature about her, but it's the way she cares for others that stands out to me. She is the first one to take care of someone who needs help - and she lifts her friends up when they are down without ever once worrying about herself. She always gives others the benefit of the doubt - even when they may "snub" her or treat her as though she doesn't matter. And I am proud to be the one she calls "Mommy."

I remember driving down the street one day and seeing a guy walking. He wasn't poorly dressed nor did he seem especially needy. But Gracey, all of 5 or 6 years old, said, "Oh Mommy, can we buy that man a car? He needs one because he's having to walk." We laughed about it at the time, but now my heart swells with pride that her first thought was of improving his life rather than judging him.

She gravitates to the underdog in situations, and she tries hard to make everyone feel welcome in her presence. She takes the regular blond jokes her friend throw her way and accepts them as all part of the game of friendship - never thinking to dish any jokes back.

She is stunningly pretty - and has no clue that those blue eyes and that long hair will someday stop boys in their tracks.

A moment of sweetness with her sister.
Don't get me wrong. She's got that "first child" attitude - and she can fight with her sister (or her parents) just like any other sassy pre-teen girl.  She's kind of been the "guinea pig" for our parenting abilities - so she always thinks Sadie has it easier because we have it figured out by the time Sadie gets to the same spot a few years later. And she certainly could improve on her room-cleaning ability. But overall - she's just a great person. And I am thankful every day for her.

I just can hardly believe that the young lady sitting beside me in the front seat of the car was just a glimmer of excitement 13 years ago. 

So today - I am thankful for Gracey. My firstborn daughter - whom God so graciously entrusted me to raise.