My sister, Hana came to visit me this weekend. She chose to spend a weekend of her summer break with her “big sissy” as she likes to call me. It’s an honor that she wants to hang out with me. I’m a quiet, serious older sister who lives far away. We don’t have a lot in common. Hana told me this weekend she is very into fashion and hip, and does not like plain stuff like me. That’s funny, but a very good description of us both.
Hana likes sparkles and glitter and anything pink, she likes blonde highlights in her hair and getting her nails done. I do like plain, I never wear pink. I don’t dye my hair and I have never gotten my nails done. I wasn’t much of a girly girl, always had short hair and I was too afraid to talk to anyone. Yes, Hana is my exact opposite.
We don’t have a lot in common, and I was very nervous about entertaining her all week. I’m not good at being a girl…not the kind who likes shopping and makeup and chic flicks. But, I was determined to have a good time with my sis. I planned a weekend of back-to-school shopping, swimming, fro yo, and lots of movies.
Chris was amazing and encouraging, reminding me to just have fun…which can be hard for me. He also told me to remember to be the sister, not the mom…also hard for me, especially since Hana is 15 years younger than me. Chris is so much better with my siblings than I am. He knows how to relate to kids. I’m blessed to have his help and support with my family. He gave us an entire Saturday to have sister shopping and swimming day!
Hana and I had a fantastic time. We went to several clothing stores and the mall. We found excellent deals and probably spent way too much money (thanks mom!). We bought pretty clothes and shoes and jewelry preparing Hana for 4th grade! And I have to say shopping is exhausting, or I’m just getting old because by 4 in the afternoon I was zonked!
I loved my day spending time with my sissy! It was, however, a bit of a challenge. I completely overreacted, as usual – wanting her to have the best time, and wanting to set a good example for her. I wished that I had more energy. I have no idea how parents do it full-time. (Which also makes me question whether I could ever be a parent). I wanted to keep up with her, she moves 100 miles an hour all the time, and I like naps.
I also wished I had more financial means. I hated having to say no. I felt like every other answer was no. No we couldn’t go out to eat for another meal. No we couldn’t go see a movie after paying for the pool. No we couldn’t get that other pair of shoes. No we couldn’t get fro yo for the second night in a row. It made me sad to see her upset. I wanted to give her everything she wanted, but I couldn’t financially do it all. Chris and I did what we could, but we also had to say no. I was caught between wanting to be the fun big sis, but also wanting her to understand that we have limitations in life.
I found myself getting caught in the middle a lot, trying to encourage and inspire Hana. I wanted her to learn modesty with her clothing, but I didn’t want her to cover herself up because she thought she was fat. I wanted her to watch television and not be overprotective, but I wanted to keep her mind pure. I wanted her to get her nails painted, but not feel like she HAS to do these things to her physical appearance to be beautiful. I wanted to pick up after her and let her be on vacation, but I didn’t want to teach her to be lazy and irresponsible. I wanted her to like me, but I also couldn’t let her do everything she wanted. And this was HARD!
Setting boundaries, saying no, and loving unconditionally is a big task. At times I felt like a jerk, I felt too much like a mom, I felt like I was being to lenient, I felt that I didn’t set a good example or give a good answer to her question, I felt like I was too tired and too selfish and too impatient. And all I kept thinking was, ‘I hope she is having fun.’
She is such a great girl. I just want to be the very best big sissy I can be.