Friends After the Playfight by David & Shiela Glatz Via Flickr: I think these two Brown Bear (Ursus arctos) spring cubs were females. After the play fight, they quickly returned to a calm state and just chilled out. Lake Clark National Park, Alaska.
Little Sister Bear Connects by David & Shiela Glatz Via Flickr: Female Coastal Brown Bear (Ursus arctos) - at left - is smaller than her brother - on the right - and puts up with a lot of crap from him. He’s constantly trying to show his dominance. However, when provoked, the little female can be fierce. She had a special affection for trying to grab the long fur right next to her brother’s ear, and then pulling with her teeth. Here she connected, and doesn’t look like she would be letting go anytime soon. Hallo Bay, Katmai National Park, Alaska.
i. You don’t have to be perfect the first time. Or the next. Or the time after that. There are a million ways to fail at what you do. There will always be a reason why they still look up to you.
ii. Stop looking at your hands like they are made of papier-mâché. They will not melt just because you haven’t found the right way to keep yourself up on top of supporting your siblings too. It is enough to marvel at the beauty of how every piece of you holds everything together to make your family bigger.
iii. Most rough days will evaporate. You might not even catch a glimpse of them scattering through the air. Sisters and brothers have a way of licking wounds without ever looking at them. Remember to acknowledge it every now and then. Sometimes the bleeding stops where the pain chooses to stay.
iv. Proximity will always be taken for granted. You will miss them when they are one delayed flight away and not reachable through a hall separating bedroom doors. Indulge in shared seconds now when you can.
v. What you do is important. Who you are matters. Just as much as parents and pets and life partners and social circles and a career and a future. You are essential to the equation for a fuller definition of their happiness. Don’t forget you exist for more than the sandbox years when they were just another hog to the toys. Or fight to pick. Or lesson to teach. Or wisdom to learn. Or person to drive. Or confidant to trust. Or kid to love. They are with you for the long run. Keep them with you always.