Emma Jane is an old soul. She has never viewed Lucy as a threat. That is not to say that she is not annoyed by her sister. Back in the days when Lucy was behaving badly, Emma was very annoyed with Lucy and was quite put out with her behavior. (We all were.) But she has always, since the moment Lucy was born, seemed to recognize the precious gift of having a sibling. And I don't think that is quite normal at 5, 6, or even 10 years of age. She has always been the first one to say "Look what Lucy is doing! Isn't it cute? Isn't she adorable?" She speaks with pride, a motherly pride as if she is responsible for this adorable creature. It's as if Lucy has three parents.
Lucy is observant and makes connections. She will watch and observe and store things away. Then she will put them all together like a puzzle and try it out and see if it fits. She often remarks about wanting to live near her sister when they are grown. She talks a lot about being grown and where she will live when she has her babies. The other day when we were leaving Poteau and driving away from my dad's house she said, "Mom, how come your mom gets to be a grandma and Daddy's mom doesn't? That's not fair?" (Mike's mom died of Lymphoma in 1995) I told her that she was right. It was incredibly unfair, but that Grandma Jane was happy that she was living on in our hearts. It was a poignant moment in the car, brought on by the words of a little five year old girl who seems to bring me to tears once a week.
A couple of weeks ago we were coming home from gymnastics and the moon was waxing. Emma Jane gave the most amazing explanation in the car to Lucy about why the moon looks half full, or full or disappears from sight. She talked about the earth's shadow and then turned on the light above her seat and used her two fists to show the earth's shadow crossing over the moon. It was a great explanation that a five year old could completely grasp. And Lucy seemed to understand that the moon doesn't disappear, it just can't be seen, because it's in the shadow of the earth. I was pretty satisfied that Lucy got it and then she said, "Well, it's lucky that the earth and the moon are just so far apart. Because if they were farther apart the earth's shadow would be a polka dot going across the moon, and if the earth were closer, we would never see the moon." Emma Jane grabbed me by the shoulders in the car and said, "Did you just hear that?"
Last year, when Emma was in fourth grade, she told me that they had an IOC drill. That is an Intruder On Campus drill. My heart started to pound but outwardly I tried to act nonchalant, "Oh?" She said that the teachers ushered them into bathrooms and made them hide in the back of the bathrooms and they turned off the lights and locked the doors and practiced being quiet. She said that she didn't think she would be able to do it in the event of a real intruder. I said, "What, be quiet?" She said, "No, stay with my class." I didn't understand. I thought that maybe they were too loud or would put her in danger. She saw the confused look on my face. She said, "If there is an intruder on campus, I have to get to Lucy, Mom. I can't let her be scared without me. I have to get to her somehow." I, of course, told her that she should take cover with her class, but my heart was saying you should absolutely be with your sister if there is an intruder on campus. But I write this to remind myself that this child at 10 years old had a plan on how to get to her sister down a flight of stairs in an emergency. I am in awe of her.
I don't know if it's normal for sisters to have this kind of bond. I never had one. But these two are each other's best friend, cheerleader, and accomplice. They are the producer and director to each other's play. They are the sun and the moon to each other. They would be lost without each other.