We sat at our favorite bistro outside. Normally we’d be seated inside because we love their huge fireplace and overstuffed chairs, not to mention the rustic decor and smells coming from the brick oven. It really is the best place to take a load off. For us, anyway.
On this night, though, the restaurant only had a seat for us at the end of their patio. It was quiet and lit up by the twinkle lights hanging from the trees.
We sat for hours talking and I can’t tell you how many times the conversation turned from making each other cry-laugh to being ultra serious to pure nostalgia, but it was a lot.
My sisters are busy. So am I. There are eight kids between us. We are running our families, our businesses, and going back to school.
We live close. We can be shitty about reaching out and putting together a plan to see each other. There are times we go months without talking. But, we are okay with it.
We are the same girls who used to smash up apples in the backyard and pump on the swing set so hard it would lift off the ground.
We are the same girls who used to sneak ice cream before school and look in our mom’s closet for Christmas presents.
We are the same girls who used to cover for each other and tattle on each other and send dirty looks across the dinner table.
We are the same girls who clutched onto each other the night our mom sped out of the driveway after she and my father separated.
We are the same girls who used to spend our summer job money on pizza and watch hours of Road Rules on summer nights.
We are the same women who walked down the aisle at each other’s weddings years ago.
We are the same women who have discussed every sexual subject you can tackle.
We are the same women who compare knitting projects and vent to each other when our kids are being assholes.
We don’t worry about fucking up or saying the wrong thing. I am not afraid to tell them anything regardless of how it will make me look because I already know how they see me: as an imperfect human being that they love very much.
We are the same. That’s something we can count on. And there’s so much comfort in having those memories to talk about when you feel like you are wading through a shit storm.
But we are different too because life will harden you like that. We feel safe enough to bring those changes to each other and show up as our growing, changing selves. We aren’t afraid to say, “This is who I am now.”
And there’s so much comfort in knowing they’ve been through some stuff too, and can predict how you’re feeling and thinking because they knew you way back before life got its hands on you. And, well, they’ve watched you go through it.
It doesn’t matter if I don’t talk to my sisters every day or see them very much. It takes nothing away from our relationship.
It really doesn’t take much to get us up to speed either. In fact, the other night after a giant meatball and a glass of wine, my sisters helped me figure out more shit out for myself than I’d done solo all year. My sisters feel like a comfy sweatshirt you can’t wait to put on when you get home.
When I said goodbye to them, I was smiling. I felt whole. I was content. I did not leave with an ounce of anything lacking in my body, nor did I wonder why we don’t do this more.
My relationship with my sisters is everything. Seeing them when I can, when we can, is enough. True bonds cannot be broken over busy schedules or forgotten text messages.
But, they can be tightened by a few hours under a summer sky and twinkle lights. Even if it only happens a few times a year.
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