Saturday, January 9, 2010

Sisterhood (Not of the Traveling Pants)

Of all the jobs that I have in this life right now - musician, orphan advocate, composer, author. The one I take most seriously is that of sister.

I hear a lot of people say they hate their brothers and sisters. They'd be better off without them. I don't understand that. I know I couldn't live without Jace and Levi, now Evan too. I'd be absolutely crushed if I found out that Evan couldn't come home.

When I say that being a sister is a job, that's what I mean. But it's a good job, a happy job, albeit a job that requires patience and love.

Being the oldest in my family, I've grown up learning how to sacrifice for those I love. When I was four and we adopted Jace, I had to learn to share Mom and Dad. Jace needed them too. When Levi came I learned to sacrifice time and convenience. You can't take the short and easy way with a Down syndrome child.

I have a responsibility to my siblings, a responsibility to lead them in the right direction. Whether they admit it or not, they are influenced by me and look up to me. For instance, Jace would never have picked up on film scores by himself. He likes them and listens to them because I do. Levi, as well, has picked up on some Black Eyed Peas while I've been listening. The other day when I was listening to it he signed "night" and "sleep" during I Gotta Feeling ("tonight's gonna be a good night").

As their older sister, as well, I protect them. Though it's harder to show for Jace, I am very defensive about him too, and care for him just as much as Levi. For instance, today at his first basketball game, there was a child on the other team he was guarding who was taller than him (and Jace is TALL) and was pretty much a basketball prodigy. Okay, so maybe I'm exaggerating a bit, but I thought that kid needed to be kicked out of the game and they all needed to step aside and let Jace shoot.

Or, if I here Levi start crying in another room, I rush in and grab him up into my arms. To me, there is no better feeling than when Levi puts his tiny little arms around me and lays his head down on my shoulder.

One of my biggest fears is that something will happen to us kids while Mom and Dad are gone, and I won't be able to protect Jace and Levi. Like if burglars broke in and had guns and wanted to kidnap us. I couldn't protect them. I can't fight guns! But, when I really think about it, I would absolutely have no hesitation jumping in front of a bullet for Jace or Levi.

But that's what it is to be a sister, to me. I would die for Jace or Levi or Evan. I love them so much I would die.

I'm their big sister, and that's what I do.

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