Crazy Love7:30 AM
There's a helicopter in my bathroom.
It makes noise. It lights up. It plays repetitious music. It makes itself obnoxiously present.
I hate that helicopter. The bathroom is a place of stress already, what with trying to get a wet wad of hair pinned to my head and find dental floss in a tornado wreck under the sink. The last thing I need is to hear chopper noises and, "Put your hands up! We've got you surrounded!" Which is how I feel, by the way.
Because that helicopter in my bathroom didn't fly in by itself. (It's lucky it didn't, or else it'd be flying right into the dumpster.) There's a little boy twirling its rotars, or whatever they're called: a little high-energy brother who runs into walls because that's how he rolls. He giggles -- he grins -- he'll sit still for stories and pummel you in the next minute.
I love that little brother. And that's why his helicopter is allowed in my bathroom (on occasions).
I pick up that little boy and smother him in kisses and spin him around and let him shriek. He asks me, "Gues what?" What? "You get to sit by me for lunch!" We go tromping around the kitchen with him on my hip, four though he is, and I tickle him until his giggle button is stuck.
Love is crazy. It's loud. It's madcap. It's run-around-the-house-laughing-out-loud.
I love this. I love this crazy love, the get-on-the-floor love, the type of love that's messy and loud and inconvenient. Being a big sister is like sticking your hands in a pile of wet clay, getting it all in your finger crevices. You may not make something out of it, but you've got the chance to do it. And then there's times between the crazy love that you see when your high tolerance levels pay off and when the grace of God worked for all the times you didn't let the helicopter roar without a fight.
I meet him on the stairway: he is at the top, I am climbing up to meet him. He puts his arms around my shoulders and I squeeze him.
"I love you."
"I love you too."
I meet him on the stairway again an hour later: he is on the bottom, I am on the top. "I was looking for you," he says. "I was looking all over the house and couldn't find you."
"Really? I was outside but I came back in because it's cold."
By way of conversation, "What are you up to?"
"Uh, I've got to go to the bathroom right now."
A friend and I joke about all the "child abuse" we could report to CPS about each other: we adore our little siblings, we tote them around like celebrities do to chihuahuas and teacup poodles, we think there's a purpose being the big sister beyond teasing and getting into fights. We think big sister is a verb, not a noun. We believe we can influence lives. We can do it by ignoring light up helicopters and chasing little brothers around the kitchen in the loud life of big families. Is it weird that teenagers can be so attached to younger siblings, being dangerously under the radar of those who would criticize us for "playing mommy"? Perhaps. But I don't think it's weird. I think it's a blessing. Big sisters have the best job in the world: how else can you love like crazy and not be entirely responsible?
So I guess that helicopter can stay -- if it keeps that cute little brother with it, that is.