Sunday, August 26, 2012

Brothers and sisters.

Sisters and brothers, brothers and sisters
Ain't we, everyone?
Brothers and sisters, sisters and brothers
Every father's daughter, every mother's son

Brothers and sisters, sisters and brothers
Each and every one
Sisters and brothers, brothers and sisters
Every mother's daughter, every father's son

Ain't we lucky, everybody
Bein' everybody's brother?
Ain't we lucky, everybody
Lookin' out for one another?

~ from the soundtrack of "Free to Be You and Me"

They are old friends. But more than that, they are siblings. These two go way back like car seats--all the way to Boppy pillows in the infant room at their very first daycare. Cooing and babbling like it was a full conversation. They went through a total of three early childhood education centers together and something about knowing each other since before they even had words created a special bond between them. He used to always refer to her as one of his "old friends" because I'd once described a childhood friend that way. Then I sang him that song about how one is silver and the other is gold. From then on, he designated her that way because, to him, she is gold.

But then one day they decided that they were not only golden old friends but "brother and sister" instead. And let me tell you--once they decided that, there was no arguing with them. At all. She even wanted to include a picture of Zachary on her "family tree" poster for a kindergarten project last week. And became downright red in the face when someone suggested she shouldn't since he wasn't her "real" brother.

She won. Because, to her, that is her brother. And everything about that is real. Zachary would tell you the very same thing.

Now they go to different schools, live in different neighborhoods, and have always had a few other, perhaps more obvious, differences, too. But none of that matters to them. It never has. Because to them,  they are family. Brother and sister. Sister and brother. The real kind.

It's as simple as that.

Zachary looks out for her. She looks out for him. They talk in a language that is, at times, not understandable by anyone but them. Their jokes make sense only to them which is fine since neither would let you in on it anyway. And sharing with each other? That's a no brainer. Whether it's a cookie or crayons, what belongs to one will belong to both. (Which if you know my Zachary is saying a whole lot.) Now that I think of it, the only fight Zachary ever got in during his preschool years occurred when he thought someone was treating his sister unfairly. He put up his dukes and made it clear that he wasn't having it. No way, no how.

So here they are yesterday. Scooting on scooters on a humid summer night. Laughing and talking in their own language. And doing the things that siblings do.

No matter how young you are, you can learn to be a friend. A real, true friend even. And the sooner we realize the importance of preserving the ones that are are gold, the richer our lives become.

(At least, that's what I think.)

Ain't they lucky?

Happy Sunday.

And now playing on my mental iPod. . .a song and a scene from one of my favorite books and soundtracks of all time. Do you guys remember "Free to Be You and Me?" I read it to my kids often and have given them the gift of this collection of stories and songs just as my mother did for us. This song is "Sisters and Brothers" and was performed by The Voices of East Harlem in 1974. The talking part with Marlo Thomas and some kids comes before the song on this clip--stay with it to hear the awesome song that I can't stop hearing in my head. If you grew up in the 70's and 80's like I did, this will warm your heart. Enjoy--and go straight to Amazon to order Free to Be You and Me for your kids if you don't already own it!


  1. Ahhh, good friends, good times. "Free to Be You and Me" brings a smile to my face and joy to my soul. Love this post, love the sister/brother bond, love their mommies and daddies for keeping them close and letting them continue to be so special to each other. And if his teacher let her put him on her Family Tree - what could be more wonderful than that?!

  2. These are the friends that witness your becoming who you are, they know you from the ground up, there is nothing more special. So happy your son has that. Wonderful post.

    1. I know you know I thought of you when posting this. I thought, "Now Sister Lister would write such a post. And she would so very appreciate this." It warmed my heart to see yours as one of the first comments.

  3. Mom, we've been watching those videos on YouTube all morning. "Free to Be You and Me" is such a fond memory. Thank you for that.

  4. Replies
    1. They have the best friendship. It's pretty swoon-worthy.

  5. So lucky to have each other for so long in their young lives. May they always enjoy that special bond.

    1. I sure hope they will. Something tells me that is likely.

  6. Wow, this made me cry. So sweet. I long for my kids, well heck, even myself, to have a friendship like that. I am beginning to believe we're going to have to move for that to ever happen. What a precious gift they are to each other.

    1. It's a very special bond they have. We all need friends like that.

  7. What a wonderful gift for both of them!! I recently reconnected with a friend like that from whom I had been separated by time, space and circumstance... for 20 long years! Amazingly, it is as if we were only apart for an hour, we are still like two peas in a pod. I try not to dwell on the fact that we missed 20 precious years with each other, and I hope that sweet Zachary and his lovely sister will never lose touch, not even for 20 days!


"Tell me something good. . . tell me that you like it, yeah." ~ Chaka Khan

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