In a perfect world, my sister would live five minutes down the road from us. Our kids, so close in age, would grow up together– ride their bikes to the park, have sleepovers. Our daughters would have backyard tea parties and our familiews would barbecue on Friday nights. My sister and I would go to the salon, stay up late watching movies on occasion, walk the mall with our strollers.
But this is not a perfect world, so instead we spend four days trying to make up for the other three hundred sixty-one, when our relationship depends on emails and facebook wall posts. We pack in memories and encourage friendships between our children that we know will have to be forged again next year. Our hearts break a little as our boys call each other “my special buddy” and as nephews and nieces who are growing so incredibly fast fling their arms around our necks.
We want this weekend to last forever. We hold each other’s babies and try to memorize their softness cuddled to our bodies, knowing that next year they will be busy toddlers.
We swim and laugh and play and cuddle and say “I love you” and we strive to make these memories sweet. And then we load the van and kiss and cry and say goodbye and cry some more and hope that in the end the sweet outweighs the bitter.
And in the end, as we unwrap these memories again and again, we find that indeed they are sweet.