Sister has an identity. Other than the fact that Sister’s name is Toni yet we call her Sister…there’s more to it and I think it’s down right special and it kinda blows my mind…
A couple of weeks ago I had just stepped out of the shower and was getting dressed. Before getting in the shower, I put Scott on Lily’s bed and asked her to watch him while I took a quick shower.
There’s no quicker shower than the one you take when your 3 year old wanna-be-mamma is watching your infant child in her bedroom. I take advantage of the fact that she loves to help and, quite frankly, she’s great help. She takes an active part in caring for Scott when I’m busy for a few minutes during the day. She reads, sings, laughs, dances, and doesn’t flip out when he screams. She gives him his paci, whispers sweet things in his ear, and does her best to calm him down. But even in her great effort to help me out, I have visions of how quickly things could go down hill if I don’t hurry with that shower.
I was in my room but could hear Lily talking to Scott. She was telling him every single made-up detail about Sister’s pretend existence. If you don’t already know, Sister is a make-believe friend that has been around for about 18 months. Lily forgets nothing. And there’s been a lot of made-up stuff said in a little over a year about Sister. Lily had many many things to tell Scott about Sister.
I heard her say the word “heaven” and that caused me to pause and listen intently. What was Lily telling her brother about heaven and what in the world did that have to do with Sister?
“Sister lives in heaven. She used to be in mommy’s belly.”
No way. There is no way Lily remembers that! That can’t be. But I was curious because it dawned on me that Sister showed up shortly after we lost the baby.
I didn’t want to ask her about it in that moment. I waited until after nap time so she had plenty of time to forget what she was telling Scott about Sister.
“Lily, what were you telling Scott about Sister earlier? Who is Sister?”
“She’s my sister. Sister is in heaven.”
“Where was she before she went to heaven?”
“In your belly.”
“Is Sister the baby we lost last year?”
“Is that why you talk about Sister all the time?”
“Yeah, I talk to her because she can hear me in heaven.”
I’m sure I’ve mentioned it before, not only does Lily talk some crazy made-up stuff about Sister she also talks to Sister…actually, we all are obligated to talk to Sister by request of Lily. Now it makes a little more sense why Lily acts like Sister is so real and why she expects us to follow suit.
Because she is real. And she (or he) really is in heaven. And maybe Lily really thinks Sister can hear her if she talks to her.
Now I can’t guarantee this is the story you’ll get if you ask Lily about Sister today. Sister’s identity has always been unclear. Her age fluctuates, her family members change, and her whereabouts are unusual. But at least for a day, Sister was real and Lily found it necessary to share everything about Sister with her brother.