Today, in honor of my sister’s birthday, I am reposting what I wrote two years ago on The Blog That Didn’t Survive Some Technical Problems. I am reposting because I liked that post and because I like my sister.
As a little girl, I used to marvel at how light hearted and excited my mom became when she and her sisters were together. They would talk, sometimes all at the same time, and my Dad and the uncles would drily remark that it didn’t matter if nobody heard what was said, as long as it all got said.
When my sister and I were youngsters, we had this strange competitive relationship. I was probably a little like the Peanuts cartoonist, Charles Schulz, described it, “Big sisters are the crab grass in the lawn of life.” I had this feeling I was born to keep the little sister carefully in line. We could peacefully coexist for entire days until suddenly she had too much of the
solicitudebossing, and I would retreat in pained surprise at her ingratitude in rejecting my ideas. In my mind, she was always favored, cute, able to do pretty much whatever her charming little heart desired. In her mind, I was always three years superior and patronizing to boot. So we had this funny little dance of like and dislike that we did. Mom would look at us in bewilderment and say, “You act like you don’t even like each other.” That is why this next quote makes me laugh.
If you don’t understand how a woman could both love her sister dearly and want to wring her neck at the same time, then you were probably an only child. -Linda Sunshine
After she got married, and moved far away, I started to realize just how strong this bond of sisterhood really was. There was nobody else in my life who would honestly tell me whether the curtains I made looked all right or slightly tacky. None of my friends knew exactly which purse/shoes/fabric looked just like me. And they would certainly not have said, “Yeah, I would never buy it, but it will look fine on you.” Neither would they give me an impish look and ask me if I am pregnant or just gaining weight. These are things only a sister can do and get by with it. Besides my husband, nobody else ever saw me cry in utter frustration about my mothering. Nobody else had the inside scoop on why I still sometimes get an urge to eat one of those factory made cream horns with the sugary-shortening filling. I have never seen anyone else do a better “lima bean chew” than she does. And nobody else knows so well why I named my favorite doll “Bernice”.
To the outside world we all grow old. But not to brothers and sisters. We know each other as we always were. We know each other’s hearts. We share private family jokes. We remember family feuds and secrets, family griefs and joys. We live outside the touch of time. ~Clara Ortega
So on my sister’s
thirtieththirty-second birthday, I celebrate her and the unique role of “born to be friends” that we share.