By Patty Wysong
The sound of my sister's voice on the phone was like water in the midst of the desert.
“So, what's new at your house?” she asked, like she always did.
I looked around my messy living room. “Nuthin'.”
She paused a moment before saying, “It's awful quiet over there.”
“Mmm. Nice isn't it?” With five active kids, I treasured my temporarily quiet house.
“Did you finally duct tape them?” Laughter simmered in her voice.
“Nope. Something even better,” I hedged. “Remember that magic wand I mentioned in my blog?”
She snickered. “Yeah. Did you try it?”
I leaned back in my chair and twirled my hair, wondering how long I could pull this off. “I now have two hermit crabs and three goldfish. It's wonderful. They're silent and contained.”
“Oooooh. I want that magic wand!”
Finally I let myself laugh, feeling weightless as the tension drained out of me. Talking with my sister is another thing I treasure. She's one of the few people who truly knows me, understands and accepts me, and I'm able to relax and be myself with her.
“So, what's new with you?” I finally got around to asking her.
She groaned dramatically. “I'm moving.”
“Sounds fun. Where to? I might move with you.”
“Bring cookies if you come. I've got a palm tree on the beach that has my name on it. It's reserved especially for me.”
“Let me guess...there's a handicapped parking sign nailed to the palm tree?” I wandered into the kitchen and pulled out my secret stash of cookies.
“Yup. That's the one. My boys are driving me crazy. Absolutely insane! Don't they see what their stupidity does to a hormonal woman? Yesterday I locked them out of the house because I couldn't handle there wrestling and fighting any more.” Even though she's serious, she's laughing, just as she taught me to see the funny side of life, and to laugh at myself.
“They must have a death wish, but they'll figure it out... eventually... maybe in 20 years,” I mumbled with a full mouth, thinking of her four teen sons.
She stopped laughing, suddenly suspicious. “What are you eating?”
“You said to bring cookies, so I am.”
“I'm dying for cookies but I can't even look at them without gaining weight!”
“I'm sorry. I'll eat some for you; will that help?” I shoved another cookie in my mouth, whole, hoping it would smother my laughter.
The back door slammed as my daughter wailed, “Mooooooom!”
My sister's musical laugh soothed my instantly inflamed nerves. “I thought she was a hermit crab.”
“I'll try again,” I assured her as I hastily hid my cookies just as my daughter rounded the kitchen corner.
“She's driving me crazy, Mom! Can't you make her stop?”
Laughter on the phone stifled my retort. I took a deep breath as I eyed my daughter and spoke to my sister. “Will my girls ever learn?”
She laughed, again. “We did.”