• Mayts

    OK that totally made me cry. I’ve got a 5 year old and a 3.5 year old and the total sap in me just came out and cried a snotty cry all over my keyboard. Thanks for sharing! It is nice to focus on the sweet moments among the exhaustion, stress and drama.

  • Kate

    Totally crying. And you are totally winning as a parent, because that graciousness does not come out of nowhere. Nice work Miss H.

  • Rebecca

    Awww! Sorry but that is too cute!

  • http://bravissimi.blogspot.com jess crawford!

    This is THE BEST. My kid sister (16 years younger than me) is like this and I am always so humbled by it. One year a family in our community was going through a rough spot and folks were taking up a collection. My sister had been saving up to buy herself a Nintendo DS and she donated every single penny to the family instead. When my mom told me I burst into tears. (My mom deserves all the credit. And to reward my sister, my mom bought her the DS anyway).

    Good work, Heather. One of the other commenters is right — that graciousness definitely doesn’t come out of thin air. xoxo.

  • http://twitter.com/shyeyes shyeyes

    thanks for making me cry. AT WORK! kidding – leta is a fantastic sister.

  • WhyWhySee

    So awesome. I do know how proud you felt then.

  • Lauren

    What caught my eye was the excellent use of a comma in “I love you, Marlo.” Heck, most of my university educated friends haven’t even caught on to that one yet.

  • Becky

    Wow! Remembering how ‘persnickety’ Leta was when she was younger makes this story even more heartwarming. Congratulations on your amazing daughters!

  • http://twitter.com/ashleyaustrew Ashley Austrew

    Thanks for stimulating my ovaries, Heather. Now I have to have another kid just so I can experience this. Damn you!

  • http://twitter.com/LeighBLou Leigh Barrett

    Crap, another crier here. What a sweet girl. One day, Marlo will appreciate her. It may not be for oh, 15-20 more years, but it will come.

  • carolinegolon

    Awwww, this is adorbs. My girls are the same ages apart…we’ll see if my older daughter is quite so sweet.

  • http://twitter.com/shuggilippo Jessi Sanfilippo

    There goes my computerus. Exploding all over the damn place, Heather.

  • http://twitter.com/StefSays Stefanie

    It’s so lovely to see glimpses of your kids’ hearts and it makes you love them more and more deeply than you ever imagined that you could. Raising siblings is the best thing that has ever happened to me. Sure, I’m pretty certain that one day they are going to kill me from exhaustion, but living this life and being their mom is amazing. Your girls are so lucky to have you as their mom. Congrats, Heather, you did that.

  • Kimberly

    Love! Love! Love!

  • issascrazyworld

    Leta just rocks. That is all. :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=544981092 Tavin Sparrow Robinson

    You know what that says to me? Hella good parents. Make no mistake Armstrong. You are one good Mamma.,

  • http://www.facebook.com/countessofcats Sharon Barrett

    I am now crying. Every mom has that moment, so glad you got to have such a wonderful one.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lisa.gibson.73 Lisa Gibson

    My kids (28, 27, 24 and 18) now all adore each other. It gives me comfort for when I am gone, they will be there for each other. I don’t take credit for any of it. I think they just worked on their relationships themselves….

  • Vale

    So sweet. Who is chopping onions around here? I love my sister so much, I want to give my daughter one too.

  • michele

    amazing. my eldest is a month younger than Marlo… so we aren’t to this magical place yet. hell, we might never be. but i continue to hope for it. well done, big sis.

  • Tina Beveridge


  • HeatherArmstrong

    I noticed that, too. So so proud.

  • Janice

    Beautiful story – caught this line “Kids, we grew up with one phone. And it was attached to the wall. We lived through that. Do not ever challenge someone who grew up in the Eighties to a bar fight.” I’m a child of the 60′s; one phone, one BATHROOM. FOR. EVERYBODY. Don’t even….

  • Lesley

    Simply said? Awesome. In the truest sense of the word.

  • Sarah

    Love this. Having been reading since the beginning and feeling like I am watching Leta and Marlo grow up is awesome to say the very least. I love my sister who happens to be the older one, I don’t recall her being as generous though. The time my memories really begin hit at the exact moment I was the annoying little kid sister, so that may be why.

  • amanda

    We’re having identical child rearing experiences. My oldest is Leta to a T. Just last night, I took him to Target so he could spend the money he has earned mowing lawns. He bought 1 toy for himself and a toy for each of his siblings – just because he wanted to – even though his little sister is hell on wheels and meaner than an angry hornet. He loves her completely and selflessly and wholly. He is amazing and I can take zero credit for it – for then I’d have to take the blame for his sister.

  • http://www.glassofwin.com/blog/ Rachael

    One: I swear, the way you describe Marlo and what the dreaded future Marlo is going to be, it’s like she is destined to become Bunny Lebowski and/or Penny Lane.
    Two: Your first never ceases to amaze me. I want five just like her. Minus the picky eating =P

  • http://twitter.com/talkless_saymor Katie Arnold

    An ever so precious moment. You may need to remind her of this when they get to be teenagers and the sister angst and rivalry is running high.

  • http://kristanhoffman.com/ Kristan

    Ditto, and agreed.

  • http://oddlovescompany.com/blog/ Katybeth

    Lovely Leta. You can gross me out with these kind of stories any old time….

  • SW

    Awesome moment. And an awesome, huge-hearted big sister. You are raising good people. And that is all that matters in this world.

  • Meg H

    Add me to the list of people now crying. Seriously! Are you sure Leta wasn’t born an adult?

  • susan

    Totally proves what a wonderful mom you are!

  • Lue Read

    My older sisters would lock me in the cellar. Leta deserves two toys for each one she sells to buy something for Marlo. :)

  • debisis

    Impressive grammar…well done, HEATHER.

  • debisis

    writing kind of resembles an adult trying to write like HER child. desperate for a special story..? are you actually making money on this site these days?

  • leesuhrenay

    feeling all snarky and then there goes the water works…jerk!

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/62OLTPPKBOPYPWCY2J4I7T57OI lorrie

    desperate for attention with your special response…? are you actually making money reading and/or negative commenting on this site these days? sleep well under your bridge little troll…

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/62OLTPPKBOPYPWCY2J4I7T57OI lorrie

    impressive typing skills… good for you, DEBISIS

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/62OLTPPKBOPYPWCY2J4I7T57OI lorrie

    being a good mother is much more than cooking, cleaning, & feeding your kids. that’s not what they will remember. it’s these little moments that you capture in your heart and let them know how awesome they are in that moment, that’s why they’ll always know you’re THEIR perfect mother.

  • http://verabear.net Vera

    She is such a sweet sweet sister. If I had a sister, I’d love her to be it :)

  • Jane Kaminski

    Lorrie — I know it pisses you off, but don’t answer her/him at ALL. Seriously. THAT is what a troll gets off on–why they even exist. (My mother told me something similar about my brother’s teasing when we were kids LOL; wish I’d believed her!)
    And BTW, I smiled…and bet many others did…when I saw that comma. At a ridiculously young age I was OCD about grammar and spelling. I bet we could all tell that special little kid was going to be the same way.

  • Jane Kaminski

    Such a sweet story. You know Marlo will figure out that big sisters are the best.
    My beautiful big sister was diagnosed with oral cancer in September and it doesn’t look like I’ll have her for too much longer. I’m going to print this out for her because I know it will make her smile.

  • MaggieG

    I’m thirty years old this year, but I will always be the little sister… and I am so lucky I have a big sister who has always been like Leta. Cryin’ in my cubicle!

  • Bkk

    You are the valedictorian of parenting!

  • Gretchen

    I don’t know, every time you describe Marlo, it sounds like my daughter, who’s about to turn 8. And, in spite of the destructive attitude towards every material object handed to her, and being the only girl in her troop that comes home covered in paint, she is also amazingly generous. Marlo might turn out to be a generous kid too. A generous arsonist. Nice, huh?

  • Gretchen

    Me, too!

  • Erika

    That made me cry and almost think about having a fourth child so my daughter won’t be the so far behind her brothers little sister. Almost.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/62OLTPPKBOPYPWCY2J4I7T57OI lorrie

    i know Jane, and thank you for the reminder, it does get under my skin sometimes. I grew up in a household with an alcoholic narcissistic mother who allowed my older sister to physically, emotionally, and psychological abuse me from infancy on. I’m now in my early 50′s and just learning that I’m not invisible and I do have a voice to use and be heard. I know Heather can stand up for herself, she has shown that through the journey she has been brave to share with us. But sometimes it just makes ME feel good to be sticking up for someone I care about, even if it’s just on the Internet. For me this was not about giving the troll what they want, but giving ME practice for when the ooccasions may arise in my real life. It’s not often I get to be Mother/Sister/Me for self healing and protection. I can’t let all that therapy Heather paid for to go to waste, I took notes!

  • http://twitter.com/heymrswilson Jen Wilson

    Oh seriously, I can hardly stand this (in a good way). So wonderful and precious. My girls are six years apart (11 and 5) and are so mean to each other and I just can’t figure out how to get them to BE KIND. Leta and Marlo have given me hope that maybe it is possible. One day. I hope. Thank you for sharing this.