“Moooooooom she's....” I didn’t even allow the rest of the sentence to complete in my mind. I walked around the corner from the hall closet and into the bathroom. The three of my girls sat in the tub pushing each other and complaining about the millimeters that separated them under the water. As an environmentalist I bathe my kids together to conserve water…
“Wait guys, wait. Do you know what it is to have a sister?”. No one responded as if I had asked a rhetorical question. Their little eyes focused on me unimpressed and dissatisfied with my question. “It's a special gift... And each of you has two. I have two sisters. It's special to be a girl and have a sister.”. Obviously my selling points were still rejected, so I continued, “Granny only has brothers”. I went on giving examples of how people wish they had sisters. I brought up more people they knew who only had brothers. Their annoyance with each other was stronger than any argument I could make to impress upon them how awesome it was for them to have each other.
I continued, “You guys know who I call when I have a major life atrocity? My sisters. They are there forever…”. My oldest then chimes in… “But mom, they’re annoying”. I absorbed the truth in her statement. Sisters are annoying sometimes. They can be catty and frustrating to deal with. As an older sister, I understood how entertaining your younger sisters could potentially be a drag. I explained, “Well, dear. Although your point may partly be true, I made you all for each other. And if you can’t stand them, you can’t stand yourself. They are made of the same material you are”.
It made me do some thinking. I felt the same way about my sisters when I was younger. Constantly agitated and annoyed. I have two sisters- one is two years younger and the other eleven years younger. I thought about all the different memories that would have ended in other ways or would not even have occurred if I had no sisters. I thought back on all the arbitrary and meaningless complaints I spewed in their ears and all the tears that were shed on shoulders. I looked back on all the fist fights and yelling and screaming that happened between us. I wouldn't have traded these moments for the world.
Having a sister is very special. My sisters know everything about me. All of my garbage, my dumb and embarrassing tendencies. They know my secrets and my dreams. They know how to make me angry and how to make me smile. I call my sisters every morning during my commute to work. We have a long running Facebook message which keeps us updated on the exciting and important things that happen in our homes. Now that we are adults, I look at the mothers we’ve become wishing that we lived closer to each other. There's just something special about a good, strong sisterly bond. Hopefully my daughters can look back on their childhood with fondness. They’ll remember all the trouble, the joy, the angst, the forced sharing, the bonding and hopefully they’ll see that although friends may come and go, sisters are forever.
I'm a former teacher and former college athlete, currently working to make life more equitable for all people. My mission is to get parents to partner with their child's teacher.