A few nights ago we were blessed with about an hour of rain. It's been so hot that I think we almost forgot what it was like to hear the gentle roll of thunder and feel the sweet offerings of the clouds falling on our heads. A light steam curled up from the hot pavement when the rain hit it. But within minutes the wet heat gave way to a refreshing coolness and a light breeze. The kids were in heaven. The splashed and ran around with their umbrellas. They laughed and squealed and made umbrella forts. Then Asa and Astrid cuddled up together under a down comforter in the garage and laughed at inside jokes while they watched the rain fall from their front row seat.
It seems that when a family grows to the size of ours, and larger, natural friendships and separations form. Even though Asa and Astrid are right next to each other in the "line up", they have never been especially close.
They get along great, but neither of them seek the other out when in need of a playmate. I think that's why it warmed my heart so much to see them enjoying each other's company that day. So, on the spur of the moment, I suggested a little photo shoot, and they happily agreed!
They were huge hams out there that evening. They posed, and acted, and giggled, and teased, and splashed, and made silly faces. They just had a grand time being together. They are both my little photo shoot lovers, so together they had a cute chemistry in front of the camera.
One of the values that I think is very important to teach my kids is that they are each other's best friends. That their brothers and sisters are going to be the only ones who are always there for them, who know the good and bad and love them anyway. Since they were very small I have referred to the boys as "best brothers" and the girls as "best sisters". They don't always see it that way, but I hope that as they grow, so will their love for each other. I hope they will realize more and more over the years what a gift their siblings are to them.
And when those days come when it's easy to turn your back on each other for people or things that seem, at the moment, more valuable, I pray that they will remember times like this. Moments when they were happy just being together. Building blanket forts. Running lemonade stands. Jumping in the creek. Catching fireflies. Having late night whispered talks. Sharing ice cream cones. Splashing in the rain. Praying together. Creating LEGO worlds and baby doll nurseries. Working, living, playing....loving life. Side by side. Best brothers. Best sisters. Forever.