We just returned from a wonderful week in Hawaii. This was our first trip without a single diaper, wipe, stroller, or any of those other baby things that make traveling such a pain. It was perfect. The girls entertained themselves on the plane with drawing and coloring and ate real grown-up food without a fuss.
In Hawaii, we tried out every pool, hot tub, and beach in the Waikoloa area. We saw flowers, birds, fish, turtles, dolphins, mongoose, and feral cats. The girls made new friends each day and tried every kind of fruit grown in Hawaii. They built castles on the beach, chased myna birds together, made sand angels, and bickered, about all sorts of ridiculous things. For the first three nights, they shared a room successfully. It was the first time we’ve ever been able to put them in the same room and still get a full night’s sleep. Then, on the fourth night, they kept each other (and us) up half the night.
Peanut got the room, and String Bean was moved to the fold-out couch, and hubby and I holed up in our bedroom after putting them to bed. It was worth it to have a quiet night of sleeping kids and two non-cranky girls the next day. The next night, String Bean had a nightmare, and refused to sleep alone in the condo’s living room, so she ended up back in the room with Peanut, where they kept each other up half the night again. The following night we separated them again, and again String Bean had a nightmare, but this time, instead of coming into our bedroom for comfort, she went straight to her little sister’s room, woke her up, told her about the bad dream, and went to sleep in there.
Last night when we got home, they gave each other kisses and hugs at their bedroom doors and Peanut told her big sister, “If you have a bad dream tonight, you can come get in bed with me.” It was the sweetest moment. I asked String Bean why, when the girls clearly love each other so much, they fight over things like favorite colors and imaginary princess playmates. She shook her head. “I don’t know why we do that. I do like her. Maybe I’ll try to argue less with her.”
This morning they were right back to fighting, over who liked Hawaii better, who was dreading school more, whose waffle had the most strawberries in it. But I still have that little gem of an image, of String Bean waking, afraid, and wanting her sister’s comfort more than any other.