“She is your mirror, shining back at you with a world of possibilities…”
Early Sunday morning I was half asleep as I helped Rhema in the bathroom.
My plan was to stash her in her room and race back to bed. But then Hope popped out and begged me to let Rhema come into her room.
I hesitated, thinking of the many ways it could all go wrong. Fast. Rhema’s room is Rhema-proofed. Hope’s room is not. Any number of things could get broken. Or Rhema might “escape” Hope’s room and be left unattended for a period of time.
I remembered a recent conversation with Hope at the playground. A fun time for Hope, by definition, must include friends. And that day she was lonely, lamenting the fact that she didn’t have anyone to play with. I’d told her to remember that she has her sister as a friend, she always has someone to play with.
“It’s not the same,” she’d said. “Rhema just runs away.”
I have two children. Sometimes it seems like I have two only children.
I’d stooped down and gazed into her eyes, loved her long eyelashes. “I know it’s not the same. But keep trying, ok? Rhema might want to play with you just as much as you want to play with her.”
So on an early Sunday morning, looking again into those pleading eyes, I agreed to leave the two of them alone in Hope’s room.
Rhema has grown and matured in so many ways. As has Hope. We’re able to do and try more things, things that would have seemed impossible just a year ago. I’m thankful that even just the trying is possible now.
As I crawled under the covers, I whispered the arrangement to Brandon.
And then neither of us could sleep. I was tempted to go in and confirm that Rhema wasn’t swinging on the light fixture, and I wanted to remind Hope not to be too bossy, and I thought maybe I should go help them play.
Then I thought of my own sisters and the hours and years of our perfectly imperfect unforgettable wonderful childhood play. And I knew I should just let my girls work it out. Let them be. Let them be sisters.
We smiled and chuckled as we listened to the sounds of our children, playing together. Their own sister way.
There was the comfortable harmony of Hope’s ceaseless chatter and Rhema’s self-singing.
There was, “Rhema? Wanna play dress up?”
And then, amazingly, the sound of Hope coaxing Rhema into full Cinderella garb. “Arms in. Now stand up… turn around. Hooray!!!”
Because for her, for her sister, Rhema will wear an itchy princess dress.
There was jumping on the bed.
There was laughter – perhaps they laughed at different things – but they laughed together.
There was the joy of answers to prayers I didn’t even realize I was praying.