My sister came to stay for the weekend, with her 4 little squidlets. We had a lovely, if hectic, weekend and you can tell because we hardly took any photos at all.
But there was Strictly watching and much baby worship and pom pom making and Lego and giggly late night getting to sleep for girlies and putting babies back to bed many times for us and some chocolate and wine.
My sister and I lost an awful lot in the last couple of years; our parents separated so we effectively lost a place and opportunity to meet. Neither of us felt able to go back to the place which had always been a big enough venue to hold our families and both of us found ourselves, quite accidentally, on emotionally opposite sides of the fence in the inevitable aftermath of a bitter separation. We’ve managed to navigate that without getting involved in it from our own perspectives with each other. No mean feat, I can tell you. Our brother had moved to the other side of the world and he has always been the glue in the family, the one mild mannered, easy going force that holds things together and without him there was just no easy way forward through that divide.
I lost a son, she lost a nephew and birthed two babies before I was able to have Bene, which put a huge potential strain on how well we were going to cope with everything life was throwing at us. We were not as close as some sisters in our childhood and early adulthood and all that might really have broken us apart. I think, when she found she was pregnant with Nina and I was struggling to conceive still, we both thought we were just going to lose each other. I just didn’t see how I was ever going to see Kit, born three months after Freddie, or Nina who came along unexpectedly when I was trying so hard and failing so badly to access the fertility that once came too, too easily to me.
Of course I have seen Kit and I love him dearly and Nina, miraculously enough, turned out to be the thing that got me pregnant; when Max finally told me that she was pregnant again, having held the news for as long as he could, I got drunk and demanded to be cheered up immediately. And the rest is history. We had driven home from Devon that day and I can categorically say that under no other circumstances would conception have taken place that night. So there they are, Nina and Bene and this weekend I held Bene on my lap and Kit came and snuggled under my arm. And that is as close as I will get and you know, I think it is enough. I think Kit can be a big brother to Bene and I can be genuinely pleased for my sister that she happens to have two babies would will be the close aged siblings that Bene doesn’t have.
This weekend we had a house filled with 9 children, for 4 and my not quite 6, more than either of us ever intended and we talked and talk till we made 42 and it was GOOD to have a friend that is also my sister. And we deserve a medal, quite frankly, because these last few years have been shittier than either of us ever deserved but one of the good things that came out of it was being better friends.