What a precious gift!
Our house is not the place to come for a relaxing vacation. We love the city much too much to allow anybody to sit still for long around here. So, we wore each other slam out, but I'm pretty sure we made some memories we will never forget.
I've been thinking about how I want to word this post...we didn't do many things new--that I've never blogged about before--so I don't really want to just throw the pictures up and tell you what we're doing. I've decided to tell you instead some things that I learned about my sisters on this trip. It's funny what can be made new when you haven't gotten to experience the day-to-day with someone for a long time. Yes we change some, but more than that I think time away affords you room to see small things that have been left unappreciated all along.
How about we go in birth order? I am the oldest. A honeymoon baby and an utter accident :) There are four and a half years between Taylor and I, and then the next three happened all in a row. I think that partly because of this age gap, partly because of my personality, and partly because it's just the way it normally goes with the oldest child in a big family--I've always been the mother hen.
The settler of arguments and the meeter (what a great word that is) of needs. I admitted something about my past self to my sisters this weekend, and I'm not sure they thought it nearly as big a revelation as I found it to be. We were re-living memories when the old "You never wanted us to be around you or your friends," joke came up. It is true, and I feel bad about it now, but they are right. I spent my childhood trying to be away from them, and I feel like I've spent my adulthood giving anything to be close to them. This is not knew knowledge, however.
What became clear as we perused some funny memories was that I resented them. I was always in charge, always telling them them "no," and my summers seemed like one very, very long babysitting job that I never got paid to do. It wasn't that I was just some angst-filled teenager that wanted my peace and quiet, I was angry at the responsibility they were to me. Whew, nice to get that out and move forward!
Taylor, number 2:
The defender of the family. I've mentioned before that I can have a scrappy nature. However, if I really had a problem with anybody, I'd call Taylor. We have a story that sort of sums this up. One night, Mom and all four of us girls were staying at my house in Birmingham. It was not long after a string of robberies had occurred in our neighborhood and everybody was feeling a bit on edge as we went to sleep. In the night, we were all awakened by a loud sound outside (I still don't know what it was), and Taylor's immediate response was to jump out of bed and cry, "I'll fight to my death!"
I still laugh out loud every time I think about it.
This is how riled her spirit became at the thought of harm coming to any one of us. She is always the one I call if I get my feelings hurt. By the end of our conversation, I end up excusing away the injustice in order to calm her down. It's a great way to get over things. It is NOT great, however, to be the one IN a fight with Taylor. All three of us have been there as well :)
The eternal optimist. To Caroline, there is no problem that is not fixed with a simple answer. There is no bad day that will not surely be followed by a better one. If life seems like a burden to carry, I call Caroline. She always has a little sunshine to shower on it.
Throughout childhood she was known as "The Aggravater." Most poignant example was when she found Kendall crying in her room one day after getting in trouble. Caroline slid softly up to her side in, what looked like, an effort to console her little sister. Instead what we heard was, "You know what else, Kendall? I have your baby..." To which Kendall wailed all the more loudly. Sometimes, we still see this tendency creep up. Like this week when she sang the most random and annoying songs out loud, just long enough to get them stuck in our head, and then stopped. Over and over.
Kendall, number 4 (I feel the need to say that this glamour shot photo is a joke):
The surprising chameleon. I've been chewing hard on this one. I think if you asked any of the three of us, we'd probably say we have the most in common with and argued the least growing up with--Kendall. I feel like she's taken us all in over the past 21 years--she observed the good and the bad that we were all making a big deal over, and she quietly picked up the things around her that she liked and did it herself, without all the fuss the rest of us made.
For example, graduating from Houston Academy (my college prep high school)...nearly killed me. The drama show I must have been over my chemistry tests and Calculus exams! Then, a few years later, Kendall just graduated, and I realized I'd never heard her complain. She's still doing it. I feel like she sneaks up beside each one of us and can truly celebrate whatever is happening in our lives--partially because she just does whatever we're stressing over doing.
And she's pretty fun too :)
Time with the three people who know my core more innately than anyone else, is always a joy. The surprising new blessing in all of our lives, however, is the addition of brothers.
I would say that if I thought about it at all in the past, it was to dread there being men in our lives that would come in and disrupt our sweet sisterly communion. I could never have imagined the gift it would be to have these new additions. I feel extraordinarily blessed by God to not only love but enjoy my brother-in-laws. I love to see the parts of my sisters they draw out,
and the similarities they recognize in the four of us that often we cannot see.
Unfortunately, they have also formed a support group for "Men who have to deal with the Clark girls," but they at least help us laugh at out short-comings as we recognize them. And they are also committed to loving us deeply as they help us reign in these sin natures.
And don't think we don't dish it back to them as well :)
Thank you Taylor, John David, Caroline, Riley, and Kendall for taking the time and expense to come and be with us. We love you so much!! and I can't think of any other way I'd rather have started 2011...