A League of Their Own is one of those movies I know practically every word to and can watch over and over again, and still cry every time the sisters say goodbye to each other, and when they see each other at the hall of fame at the end. And as the big sister, I’ve always laughed at Kit’s line – “This is our daughter, Dottie. And this is our other daughter, Dottie’s sister.”
But now, as a mom of two girls, I empathize with the little sister a lot more as I watch her get upstaged at every turn. Pumpkin enjoys answering questions for Peanut, telling us what her little sister wants to eat, what song she wants to hear, what she did at school that day. And because she’s much more verbal at 4 than little sister is at 20 months, she tends to dominate the conversation. As much as I know it’s not fair to be the big sister – the pressure to set a good example, the disruption of the undivided attention, etc. – I am realizing the challenges now of being the little sister, too.
So, recently when my mother-in-law asked us if she could take Pumpkin on a trip, while it was hard on us for her to be gone for a few days, it was nice to get a little one-on-one time with Peanut. I discovered that she talks a lot more than I’d realized before! We took her to Flagstaff for the weekend and had a great time hanging out with her around town.
A few weeks later, I had planned to take the girls to the celebration of the light rail extension into downtown Mesa. In addition to free train rides and live music, the museums had free admission. Pumpkin came down with a fever the night before and had to stay home, so Peanut was able to choose what she wanted to do in the kids’ museum, and do a lot more walking than she
probably would have otherwise, checking out the art and activities on the street (with both girls, she’d likely have been in the stroller). While I wish Pumpkin didn’t have to be sick, that time together was truly a treasure.
And the best part of having them apart for a bit is watching their excitement when they see each other again. Pumpkin sang to Peanut the whole way home from school the day she came home from her trip with Grandma, and Peanut colored a picture for Pumpkin while she was at the kids’ museum. I hope they always have that.