Hershey · siblings · slice of life

The Sweetest Thing to Say to a Sibling

When I envisioned what my life would be like once I had children, it included trips to historical sites, museums, and shows. Maybe some sporting events, but mostly cultural things. You know what my visions didn’t include? Weekly trips to an amusement park! However, Isabelle became hooked on Hersheypark (which is about a half hour from our house) in 2014, which was the first time we purchased season passes. Therefore, we’ve been going ever since.

Now that Ari is two, he’s enamored with Hersheypark too. Like Isabelle, he wants to go every single weekend. If we skip a weekend — like we did last weekend — he acts as if it’s a major blow to his life. {Sigh.}

Last year, I took Isabelle and Ari on the Ferris wheel a few times. However, we hadn’t been on it since the Park opened this season. Even though the Ferris wheel is a favorite ride of mine (since it reminds me of the times I rode the Wonder Wheel in Coney Island with my Dad when I was a kid), I don’t take my kids on it that often since it’s on the far end of Hersheypark.

When I asked Isabelle what ride she wanted to go on first this weekend, she replied, “The Ferris Wheel!”

“Then we’ll walk to it first before the park fills up,” I told her.

She nodded her head in agreement.

Ari, on the other hand, was not in agreement. “I don’t wanna go on the Ferris wheel! I don’t wanna fall!”

“You’re not going to fall, Ari,” Isabelle said.

“You’ll be fine if you stay seated,” I told him.

Nonetheless, Ari repeated his disdain for our decision the whole walk to the Ferris wheel, which — if you count the walk from the car to the Ferris wheel — took about 25 minutes.

By the time we got to the Ferris wheel, I was ignoring the repeated complaints about Isabelle’s choice of a ride. Isabelle, on the other hand, was still entertaining Ari’s whining.

Once I took Ari out of the stroller, I noticed Isabelle take Ari’s hand. That part is typical. What I heard her tell him melted my heart. She said, “Listen, Ari. If you’re with Isabelle you’re always safe.”

I trusted Isabelle would keep an arm around Ari (which she did). That being said, I kept a hand on him too!

“Awwww!” I said. “That’s the sweetest thing you could tell him.”

“Well, it’s true!” Isabelle retorted.

I thought of all of the times Isabelle has engaged in ridiculous stunts at home (such as standing on the arm of the couch and doing a forward roll onto the cushions), which Ari has promptly copied. Each of these stunts takes a month or two off of my life every time. However, I bit my tongue about the always part of her message. Instead, I said, “Yes, it’s true, Ari. You are safe with Isabelle on the Ferris wheel.”

And with that, we walked onto the Ferris wheel queue. Even though Ari continued to worry, Isabelle held his hand and kept promising him that he’d be safe.

Not only was he safe… Ari demanded, “I wanna go on again!” as soon as it was time for us to exit.

We didn’t go on again. After all, we’ll probably be at Hersheypark next weekend!


12 thoughts on “The Sweetest Thing to Say to a Sibling

  1. This post evokes a lot of things for me – scenes of my own two children and a different theme park, a terror of roller coasters turning into a passion for them. What stands out to me is that Ari trusted his sister enough to ride the Ferris Wheel instead of adamantly backing out. Behind that is a solid foundation of love – which really does conquer all.

  2. I’m with Ari, the Ferris Wheel is a bit scary. He’s so lucky to have a loving and protective sister. Hersheypark seems to be a fitting place for such sweetness.

  3. I am so happy that you overheard this. This is what a mother needs to know, that the siblings look after each other.

  4. There’s nothing more comforting to parents than seeing love and trust grow between their children. In my kids’ case, some of that took some time, but now that they are adults, I am continually warmed by the connection among the three of them. I loved reading this moment about Isabelle and Ari.

  5. Stacey, this is a precious gift and reminder that you are raising siblings who love and protect one another. This brings to mind my own two daughters (now 10 and 7) and how from day 1, Lucia has always protects and helped her little sister, Elina. You are inspiring me to write a poem about it! Speaking of poems, this one my Nikki Grimes, from Something on My Mind, has been on my refrigerator since the moment I found out I was having a second child.

    little sister
    holds on tight.
    My hands hurt
    from all that squeezing,
    but I don’t mind.
    She thinks no one will bother her
    when I’m around,
    and they won’t
    if I can help it.
    And even when I can’t
    I try
    ’cause she believes in me.

  6. What a wonderful story. I do enjoy that your children had this moment together- it reminds of the moments with my own. The idea of editing out the “always” was both wise and funny!

  7. I had to read your post after seeing the intro–you are right everyone does deserve to feel safe and important. I love that Isabelle knows this intrinsically. Lucky Ari.

  8. Oh my gosh, too sweet! What a wonderful big sister! I love the lead up to this moment in your story – the title hooked me in and got me wanting to know what Isabelle said!

  9. The first part of your post reminded me of my first visit to Hersheypark when I was little. Those memories have stayed with me over the years because it’s one of our first family vacations that I remember. The rest of your post made me more than a little teary-eyed! Thank you so much for sharing these stories!

  10. What a sweet moment captured here – and your ability to notice it after a 25 minute walk with a whiny preschooler is pretty impressive, too. Some day, I hope that Isabelle and Ari recognize the gift you give them every day: loving observation (and the time to write things down!).

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