October 30, 2007
By Erica Van Skike, Tustin, CA

I had known the little girl since the day she was born. I had looked into her eyes, and known, from that minute, that one day this little girl was going to be a miracle; one day this little girl was going to change the world.

Four years from the day that I had first looked into the blazing blue eyes of this child, we had reached a connection that was stronger than most sisters. Even though a ten year age difference separated us, we knew each other better than we knew our own parents.

This little girl was beautiful, in every possible way. Her blond hair fell to her mid-back and her blue eyes were almost blinding. What really struck me, however, was her love and joy for everything in the world. She could find joy even in a small pebble, or a homeless man. She made everything come to life.

This four-year-old acted more mature than almost every eighth grader I had ever met. Upon reaching her second birthday, she could ride a two-wheeler easily, and at three, she could beat any ten-year-old in a game of soccer.

One afternoon, while the two of us were up, above all rooftops, in a ‘magical kingdom’, the little girl looked me straight in the eyes. I could feel the fire behind her eyes burn, as she looked not at my eyes, but beyond them, trying to figure something out. I knew something was on her mind, but she wasn’t ready for me to know.

Finally, after a long silence she barely whispered, “Erica?”


“I want to tell you something.” She started. “My older sister never wants to play with me cause I’m too little.”

“You still have Bucket.” I told her, referring to her two-year-old sister.

“She’s too little to play with. She always starts crying.”

I took time to think about this. “Well, honey. You can always play with me.” I told her, gently, soothingly; as I saw her eyes start to water. I knew very well what it felt like to be left out, and my heart ached for her.

“But it’s not the same.” She told me, clearly upset about not having a sister who she could play with. A tear fell out of her small eye and she let me put her on my lap.

“You’ve got to understand this. Your big sister is nine, and you are only four. She has friends her own age and she likes to do ‘big girl’ stuff. Bucket will come around, and” I quietly told her, yearning for her to really listen to what I was about to say, “I love you. You’re like my little sister.” I told her. She just looked up at me and smiled.

After thinking about it, the little girl said, “But that’s impossible, Erica. We’re not sisters. You’re my neighbor and my babysitter and maybe even my friend. But not sisters. Sisters got to have the same mommy and daddy.” She said, giving me an- I’m smarter than you look.

“Really?” I asked the little girl, “Does your big sister have the same daddy as you?”

“No. But she has the same mommy. That’s okay. You can have the same of one and not the other and still your sisters,” the young child told me.

“Who said?” I asked her. “Who said we can’t be sisters? I say that you and I are sisters. I love you like a sister, so why can’t we be sisters?”

“Well, I guess we can.” She said, after a long battle in her young brain.

I picked her up, out of the tree we were sitting in. The sky was foggy with droopy black clouds. In the distance there was lightning, and of course, lightning’s big brother thunder. It was windy and nearing night-fall. I knew I had to get the little girl home soon. I picked her up, and carried her to her bike. I got my scooter, and we rode back to her home.

The little girl and I raced. She, of course was winning by a bit, and then, suddenly, she stopped. I stopped next to her, and looked at her small face. She motioned for me to come down to her level. I kneeled down to her, and looked at her, wondering what she wanted me to hear so badly.

“Erica?” The little girl asked.


“I want to tell you something.” She started. And after a deep breath she said, “Erica, I love you.” and grabbed me into a hug. A tear formed in my eye, as I silently thanked the Lord for this beautiful little child that I got to enjoy during my life. I stood up, still holding the little girl in a hug, and carried her the rest of the way to her house. I figured we’d go back for the bike and scooter later. Right now, I just needed to be with this child. To enjoy this blessing in my life; this little girl that was one of the most wonderful things that had ever happened to me. I just wanted to be with my sister.

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