Last week for Spring break, we went to Florida and stayed with my in-laws for the tail end of their snow bird season. It was fabulous - Florida is my place! We sat on the beach, laughed, shopped, played cards and just had a good time together.
Florida is no quick trip for us, so we spent many hours in the car on the way down and home. Our kids are certainly no strangers to long road trips (our next adventure will be driving to the Pacific Northwest!), and they understand driving saves lots of money and enables us to see the country (that, coupled with camping!). But still, being in the car for 12 or more hours a day isn't exactly anyone's idea of a great time.
Well, maybe that's not true. My daughter's first grade teacher told me what my daughter shared yesterday at school. The teacher was asking each student what his/her favorite part of Spring break was, and this was my daughter's response: "The best part of Spring break was being in the car for 13 hours with my family. We're usually so busy, that it was great to be together with nowhere else to go. We laughed and sang songs and had a great time!"
Wow - we did laugh and sing and have fun! There were also fights and complaining, but those things apparently didn't stick in her memory - just the good times with her family made an impression.
As we were driving home from school yesterday, we were talking about childhood friends. One of the boys asked me if I was still close with any of my childhood friends, and I replied that I keep in touch with several on Facebook, but that we don't see one another regularly. "Who is your best friend now?" one of the kids asked. After I moment, I paused and said that my sister was my best friend. After a moment I laughed and turned toward the back seat, knowing the kids would say that she didn't count - she's my sister! And indeed, they were ready to tease me about it, but I took a moment to tell them it was true, and remind them once again, that their siblings are the ones who will stick by them through thick and thin, and that no one will know them longer than their siblings will. They've heard these lectures before, but I pray they hear them. Brothers and sisters are life long best friends!
As it turns out, Facebook reminded me yesterday that it was National Sibling Day. I posted a picture of my kids, with a comment about their lifelong friendships blossoming. And I also posted a picture of my sister and me, thanking God for giving me a lifelong best friend.
There is no shortage of negative behavior over here between my children. But I pray that as the years pass, those memories fade and like my youngest daughter's road trip recollection, the sibling bond remains strongly at the forefront. Best friends for life!