In the meantime, I have to share this video with you.
See, I know brothers. I have two. I know the bond between a brother and a sister, times two. And it is a very special realtionship and I am not knocking it at all. I do not have sisters and I did not understand the bond between sisters until this Christmas. Wow.
Emma Kate does not get to see her sister nearly enough. Christmas and summer she is with us- and a few sporadic visits throughout the year are all we get. Most people that Emma Kate sees sporadically like that--well, she shys away from them for at least the first thirty minutes. Some, she just plain forgets altogether.
It amazes me everytime that we get Ashley. I am always afraid that EK is going to be shy around her or clam up at first. This has never happened.
From the minute Emma Kate laid eyes on her "Sissy," in the Atlanta airport, she got excited. I mean like butterflies-in-her-stomach-excited. A grin grows across her face that she cannot contain. The death grip she has on my neck (as we are in a crowded and very busy airport) releases in an instant and she quickly melts out of my arms. In one split-second she is standing in front of her sister, looking up at her with eyes as big as saucers. She grabs her hand as if to say, "You are here to stay and you are all mine."
And Ashley is amazing. You would think that a very cool 5th grader would be burdened by a whiny 2 year old constantly wanting her attention. You would think it would be annoying to keep a toddler from trying to get into all her very modern electronics and trying to stand right beside her while she is playing an intense round of Wii tennis with her daddy. Nope. Ashley is as patient as a grandmother with her. She gently grabs her digital camera from Emma Kate's grubby hands and says, "No, sissy, that is not a toy," in a voice that sounds as if she is about to read her a bedtime story. She pauses her very intense tennis match and moves Emma Kate out of the way and gives her a toy to (unsuccesfully) divert her attention from the Wii. She offers to feed her, change her, help her in any way she can. Not because she is asked, because we don't ever want her to feel like it is her job to take care of her sister, but because she genuinely wants to be a big sister in every sense of the word.
I do not think I have ever witnessed unconditional love like I do between these two precious souls. It was my favorite gift this year.
My least favorite of the year was having to send that part of my heart back to Florida on Christmas day. There are "issues" with the visitation schedule and Mike had to have Ashley back to Florida at noon on Christmas day. That meant that Santa visited my girls Christmas Eve and then a little bit at 5:30 a.m. on Christmas Day, before I sent Sissy and Daddy to Atlanta to catch a plane. It was heartwrenching to say the least, but it is just our life and we live it the best way we can.
I cannot wait until the next time we pick Ashley up, because there is nothing else that makes Emma Kate's face light up like that.