Our two girls are as different as night and day. In fact, their only thing in common is the possession of a uterus.
Mabel has always been all-in with Hayley. She is never jealous or selfish, always accepting of anything her big sister has to offer, say, do, or whatever. She would give Hayley her favorite horse to play with. Mabel was fun at first but as the months together drew on, Hayley became a bit … annoyed. Mabel following. Mabel copying. Mabel being generally in her business 100% of the time. For daddy’s only child, this was a hefty change on her side. We know they will work it out and God will pave the way to a relationship that He knew would exist before either of them was born.
However, a week or two ago I noticed something so sweet and special that I want to remember it forever. Mabel got into trouble for misbehaving at the dinner table and was in time out. After she completed her meal, daddy sent her to use the potty and put on pajamas. This is code for: you've misbehaved and now it’s straight to bed.
Having finished their dinners, the 3 bigs had earned a cookie for dessert, which they ate while they did the dishes and I relaxed on the couch. Bryon was supervising, see. Did I mention I love not having to both cook the dinner and clean up the dinner anymore? Yes, but this isn’t a story about me.
So Mabel came over to me on the couch, freshly pajama-ed and pottied, and also full of tears. I said her goodnight prayers with her and sang her a goodnight song (as I do every night, no matter the circumstance or when she’s going to bed), but that did not stop the tears. The bigs were having cookies and she had been in trouble. Daddy needed to goodnight her, too, with hugs and kisses. And so I sent her into the kitchen, a little nervous and wringing her hands in front of her.
Daddy and I were passing eyes, see. We had silently confirmed between us that he would first make sure she knew why she’d been in trouble, that she was sorry and would try to be respectful, and then he’d reward her for being honest and remorseful with a cookie of her own. I love silent confirmation with my husband.
He lifted her up and cuddled her. She said her part and he sat her on the edge of the kitchen island. She smiled and quietly ate her cookie.
It was then that I noticed her big sister, acting not like a step but instead like a full, walking up to her.
“Are you okay, Mabel?” Hayley asked her quietly. Mabel nodded.
“How is your cookie?” Mabel did not answer. She was still feeling sorry.
The boys were at the sink washing and drying, and Bryon was supervising them goof off. The girls were a bit unnoticed. Except for this mama.
And so big sister Hayley reached up under Mabel’s arms and lifted her down from the island. She didn’t put her on the floor beside her – oh no. She wrapped Mabel’s body around her own, like a toddler, and cuddled her close. She laid Mabel’s wet face on her own shoulder and patted her back.
“It’s okay, Mabel. Daddy was just making sure you knew how to be good. He’s not mad at you. He loves you.”
I could see how comforted Mabel was just then and my heart lit on fire.
So then, after Mabel finished munching her cookie and still attached to her big sister, Hayley asked, “Want me to take you down to bed?”
Mabel nodded and Hales spun her around (still attached to her person like a skinny little monkey) and carried her down the steps very carefully. She carried her down the hallway and laid her onto her pink fluff. She pulled up the covers and tucked her in tight. I did not hear exactly what they shared, whispering between them. But they both were smiling.
It was then that Bryon noticed Hayley carrying Mabel through the house and again, we passed eyes. Silent confirmation that Hales had this under control, and was very much in control of this big sistering. It was so delicious for both of them.
And that is how I know that, no matter big sister’s attitude or differences, or little sister’s being a little sister – Hayley Noelle is still the exact sister that Mabel Rae was meant to have her whole life long. And, Friends, I am so thankful for that!