We All Need People That Say "I've got your back"

Sometimes an old photograph hits you deep. "All the feels" as they say...

This one does it for me. These are my twin daughters, almost two years old at the time. Avery on the right, Makenna on the left. They are very different kids. Makenna is much more sensitive, emotional and a prankster. Avery is more by the book, objective and calm. Older by two minutes, Avery has always acted as the big sister. 

When they were a year or so and in daycare, before they could talk, a little boy their age took a toy from Makenna and she started crying. From across the room Avery saw it and came quickly, took the toy back for her sister. Finger wagging in the boy's face made it clear that wasn't ok. 

On the surface this picture is two sisters walking holding hands. One dragging the other along. But it is way more than that. 

This picture was taken at my parents house, the day their mom and I separated. In the middle of the night we had a big and final fight. I called my parents early the next morning asking them to take the girls for the day so I could pack as much stuff as I could to move out. 

My mom shared later that it was an odd day with the girls who are usually high energy, laughing and all over the place. This day was much more solemn. Very quiet and confused. As if they knew something serious was going on. 

Their mom and I have both moved on. She's been married more than a year to a man that is a great stepdad to the girls and they have an adorable two year old little girl. I just got engaged to an amazing woman that fits perfectly into our life with these two sassy kindergarten kids. Life is really good for both households where Avery and Makenna spend their time. 

But all that goodness doesn't change the sadness this picture reminds me of. Regardless of what positives come from it, you don't set out to put your kids through that pain. 

So on that day, early in their lives, aware of something, these two stuck together. Had each other's back. And this is Avery telling Makenna "it's gonna be ok. We'll do this together"

It goes deeper though. This popped up in the Facebook memories the other day. A day after Makenna complained about mean kids at school. Now almost six, Avery said "just hang out with me when they are mean."

So this is a snapshot in time that, in a big way, sums up their relationship.

We all need this in our lives. The support of friends and family during challenging times is what gets us through. I'm blessed with amazing friends and family who have helped me get through the roughest times. And I'm even more thankful my daughters have each other to rely on, no matter how big or small the challenge.