Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Twins

My twin sister just left. We had lunch at a sub shop, exchanged hugs, and she was off. I have been crying since I watched her drive south while I drove north back to our house.

She and her husband and two children were here for the past four days. They came up Easter afternoon and we had three days and three nights together. All five kids got along well and even managed to sleep for several hours each night. The adults didn’t get on quite as well. Actually, it was just the girls.

Seems Heather and I cannot have an uneventful visit. A childcare issue divides us, or a theological debate arises, or we argue over the use and definition of a word, which is what happened yesterday.

It was stupid. I was stupid. But I also thought I was right, so I wouldn’t let it go. I’m pretty sure a verse about pride and falling goes here… (It’s Proverbs 16:18 in case you want to look it up.)

The one person I want to have the best relationship possible with is the one I seem to hurt early and often. It is never intentional; before I know what’s happening a careless word or awkward glance or slight rise in my voice changes the mood and I realize I’ve done it again. I have somehow implied that her opinion isn’t valid, or worse yet, just plain wrong.

Often we do disagree. I am more of a black-and-white kind of girl. I’m very conservative; heck, I’m downright libertarian. I’m reformed and not embarrassed to say so. I like using paper towels and don’t think the world needs to get rid of SUVs and drive SmartCars. Heather lives in a greyer world. She’s comfortable with environmentalists and liberal thinkers. She doesn’t mind when people don’t agree. She offers more freedom to those around her to come to different conclusions. I think we could both use a healthy dose of the other’s worlds, but my black-and-white life simply doesn’t understand her more free style of thinking. (It's amazing we both came from the same womb at the same time and grew up in the same home and experienced the same events and turned out so different.)

I cannot stand the fact that we don’t agree. I want our thoughts to line up, to laugh at the same inside jokes and be on the same page politically. But I can’t change what I think because I think I’m right. Which is what got me into the mess last night. That’s what always gets me in to messes with her.

Why can I keep my mouth shut with others but not my sister?

Writing this has made me realize I don’t come out smelling like a rose. As a matter of fact, I look downright uncaring. Which is not who I really am, I hope! I love her and care for her and want the best for her. And I suppose what I need to figure out is if I want that more than I want to convince her that my way is best.

If I have a big tent policy for my friends, why not my sister? That is something I’ll have to consider for a good long while. And while I'm trying to figure that out I'll pray for traveling mercies as Heather and her family drive home and put hundreds of miles between us.