Sunday, January 27, 2008

My Sister Anna

My sister Anna is doing a series on siblings by writing about each one of us in turn. Being the third in my family and 5th to be written about, I've had several months to wonder what she would write. I like to think of myself as having been (and being) a good older sister - not too bossy and a lot of fun.

I know of course that there are many days in which I am far from ideal. I don't always want to spend time with my siblings. Often when they were younger, I would rather spend time without them than play with them.

As Anna mentioned, sometimes I did order them around and make them work a lot. While in high school, I read many of the books my mom had about homeschooling and kids. Those books talked about discipline and organization and how to get your children to do chores around the house. Well, I didn't have any kids, but I did have my siblings. They were my "Guinea Pigs" as I tried out some of the things that I read. Many of the things I read worked well - giving out rewards for doing chores, making lists so they would know how much they had to do before they would be done, or working with them. Other ideas were too hard to maintain - there was one in which you gave each one a jar of coins. If they ever were mean to each other they would have to transfer money out of one jar and into another. I don't think that one worked very well since it was sometimes hard to figure out who was at fault.

So there are plenty of negative experiences Anna could have written about. But overall, I had fun with all of my younger siblings (and the older ones too!). The younger ones were my ever present (sometimes too ever present!) admirers and friends. It amazed me that they often thought it so much fun if I would play with them. Each time I would come home from college for Christmas or summer break, they would all be bursting with constant news and requests to "come see this" and "look at me do this." After hanging out with friend my own age for months, it was always a shock to have four younger ones so talkative and excited to see me.

Anna's post makes it sound like I was the "perfect sister" - that I was not. However, I am so thankful for Anna's kind words - they mean a lot to me. She is very complementary and so good at bringing out the best in people. What she writes is very positive and amazingly nice.

As all who read her Blog or know Anna no doubt realize, she is indeed also a very awesome sister. It's been a privilege to see her develop so much talent in many areas especially in the last few years. Her ability and desire to do each task well from cooking to teaching to directing plays to blogging to sweeping the floor is an example to me. Of course we do each have our bad days, so don't think that we expect perfection from you, Anna.

I am glad that I was able to share many of my hobbies with you. I do want to say that you have learned what I did and surpassed me in how you have continued to learn and do each thing. I may have sewn a few dresses while growing up, but you've probably made over a hundred (especially if you count all the things you've sewn for various classes and plays). I may have made of lot of meals in highschool, but you've taken the few recipe's I've used and found and tried dozens more.

I had fun with little crafts with kids I babysat, but Anna's gone from simply babysitting kids to teaching young and older kids things like ballet and drama. Now that each of us siblings are older, I'm enjoying learning things from "the kids." Without their examples, I would have never started blogging or had the courage or ability to try to make a website for my church. I'm so thankful that they are willing to spend time with me when I'm over at their house and are willing to get up early to drive to my house for breakfast each week.

I have enjoyed seeing all the amazing things that Anna has been able to do and look forward to seeing what her future will hold! Right now neither of us knows exactly what the next year holds for us. Trust God as I am reminding myself to do. Know that God is sovereign. Though we may be tempted to worry and wonder about what is to come, God already know and we can trust him with our lives.


Luke said...

I just think you're both nifty!


Elijah Lofgren said...

> I just think you're both nifty!

I agree. Nifty is a good word! :)

Anna Naomi said...

You're too kind, Miriam. =) You were and are a great older sister, and I don't think we're any worse the wear for all your "experimenting" on us. In fact, it kept us busy with things to do, and we had a lot of fun! I remember those coin cups... ;-)

Maybe I got my reading of parenting books from you as well - I've done that for quite some time, from mom's bookshelf or Maria's when we visit. I don't have any younger siblings to practice on, so I'm just storing up information for my children someday!

Thank you again for being such a great big sister!