Television commercials in the eighties often told one minute feel-good family stories. You probably remember the Maxwell House ad where Peter comes home for Christmas and wakes his family with fresh brewed coffee. It became an instant classic.
There was a McDonald's commercial called "Little Sister" that got me every time I saw it. I was young and didn't have an older brother (sisters only) but I absolutely loved this commercial. It was a perfect summation of brother-sister love neatly packaged with a side of McDonald's fries. If you get a chance, look up the vintage video on YouTube.
I have a son and a daughter. They are only sixteen months apart in age. In a moment of pure nostaligia, I looked up the video and showed it to them. I wanted them to get those warm fuzzies that I had when I was their age. They WERE brother and sister so I knew they would love it more! Even though the sibling age difference was more significant: the brother in the commercial looked about 8 years older than his little sister, my kids would be able to relate to the teasing, the sharing and the growing up together. I was positive they would think that McDonald's had delivered good food and television commercial magic.
I was wrong. Both of them thought it was silly. They thought the commercial was total cheese. And the song! Oh my Lord, they complained about the saccharin jingle in the commercial. They hated it. HATED. IT.
My children's relationship with each other doesn't look the same to them as it did in that McDonald's ad. I get it. It wasn't supposed to look *exactly* the same but it was sweet and tender and the big brother was watching over his little sister. It was darling. My kid's relationship with each other is different but not any less endearing.
For example, my son passes my daughter in the school's hallways and says "Hey, loser." Or sometimes when the mood strikes him, he'll stop by her lunch table and steal a potato chip when she's chatting with her friends. This gets him LOADS of attention from girls coming to her defense! I'm sure he hates it.
My daughter gives it right back though. She'll aggrevate him when we're at dinner by casually mentioning she saw one of his friends and she thought he was cute. My son will stop mid-chew and glare at her while she tilts her head to the side, eyes dancing and grins.
But when it matters...when it counts, they come through for one another.
Once my son was sick for three days and his body didn't move from our sofa. Every single day my little girl would bring toys, books, stuffed animals, and pictures she had colored and lay them on the floor beside him as he slept. It was her own vigil.
There was a time during after school care, some kid took away my daughter's stuffed animal and was tossing it against the basketball goal. She tried but couldn't get it back. My son had been playing with some of his friends across the playground and saw what was happening. He set his ball down, told his friends he'd be back and retrieved the stuffed animal for his little sister. No big fan fare. Not a lot of bravado. Just a kid dangling from my son's clenched fists on the front of his shirt while he suggested for him to return the toy to it's rightful owner. I'm not saying this was the best method, but he's young and learning the right way to handle problems.
It's kind of funny that brothers and sisters can be mean to one another but they won't allow ANYONE ELSE to be mean to the other. I know other families have the same experiences. I have two sisters who would back me up on life's playground if I needed them. I bet you have siblings that would do the same. My kids aren't perfect and probably won't ever make a sappy commercial, but their relationship is all the sweet - tender - real-life magic we need.
Seeds to Share:
Psalms 127:3-5 - Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.
Unknown - Because I have a brother, I'll always have a friend.
Unknown - Sisters are the best kinds of friends.