I adore the “On This Day” feature on Facebook. It is a wonderful way to look back at the past to see what has happened on any given day in past years. It often reminds me of those moments that may have slipped my mind in a blur of parenting madness over the last fifteen years.
Recently, this old post of mine popped up:
The 6-year-old is now 14 and starting driver’s education this week. The 2-year-old is 10 and in full-fledged tween mode. The days of my girls playing Barbies together are past us. In just a few short years, my oldest daughter, Nora, will leave home for college, and will begin her adult life. It makes me sad to think of my girls being split up.
From the day my youngest daughter, Natalie, was born, she was thrust into being the sibling of a brother with hemophilia. Her labor started while her brother was in the hospital with a port infection. Natalie has grown up not knowing anything other than a childhood of being dragged along to clinic appointments or waking up to find Mommy gone to the hospital with her big brother. My oldest child, Nora, was only 20 months old when her brother arrived, surprising us with a hemophilia diagnosis. She only had a short period of life without hemophilia, and like her baby sister, has been beholden to the inconsistency of an unpredictable disorder.
But throughout all the turmoil of life with a chronic disorder, the girls have always had each other. That post from eight years ago remains true today, and in actuality, can be said even in reverse – it’s fascinating to see how much the 14-year-old idolizes the 10-year-old.
My girls have what I suppose most sisters have – a bond that cannot be broken. But the mutual admiration and appreciation between them absolutely takes my breath away. They love each other, they respect each other, but more importantly, they genuinely like each other. In a stage of life where the oldest could be ditching her baby sister to fit in as an awkward freshman in high school, she instead asks her baby sister to attend a school play with her. And my little social butterfly astounds her older sister by initiating conversation with just about anyone. They laugh together, are silly together, work on chores together, and generally like being together. I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop, but I’m realizing that it just might not.
These girls have been through so much, but they have been through it together. What I think might just be a normal sisterly bond has been strengthened because of hemophilia. Hemophilia has disrupted our family life from time to time, but it thrust my girls together, teaching them that they will always have each other.
I certainly have had worries and guilt about how hemophilia has affected my girls as siblings. I’m realizing though, that those worries should be set aside; my girls have learned to value each other and their super-strengthened relationship. We should all be so lucky to have that kind of bond.
Sonji lives with her husband, Nathan, and three children Nora (14), Thomas, (13), & Natalie (10), in Colorado.
*Note: “Infusing Love: A Mom’s View,” is a blog collection of personal opinions and a representation of individuals experiences. While extensive efforts are made to ensure accuracy of the content, the blog entries do not represent HFA or its Board of Directors. The blog is also not intended to be construed as medical advice or the official opinion/position of HFA, its staff, or its Board of Directors. Readers are strongly encouraged to discuss their own medical treatment with their healthcare providers.