Being a sister is a funny thing. (I just realized a lot of things I post about are funny things…) In my family, I’m the second-youngest even though I usually feel like the middle child because for a good part of my life, there have been three of us at home. My two oldest sisters are married and have given me a beautiful gaggle of nephews and nieces, whom I love very much. But mainly, I live with my older brother Mac, 21, and my sister Riah, 16.
I didn’t used to get along with Mac. When I was younger, he would tease me incessantly and do things that irritated me just so he could see my reaction. It wasn’t until Mom told me “You know, if you stop reacting, he’ll stop doing it.” So I stopped, and miracle of miracles, he stopped, too. Once we learned to get along, we got along pretty ruddy well. He works days and evenings, so often days will go by when I don’t even see him, and I start to miss him. We often have late-night talks; he’ll get home from work and I’m just about to go to bed, and he’ll come downstairs and we’ll start a conversation that’s probably very strange and bizarre and keep it going for an hour or two. Before I know it it’s almost midnight and we’re still stuck on the topic of Death By Curling Iron. Mac and I do impromptu stand-up comedy routines that are something like Oscar Wilde meets Brian Regan. He’s the one who watches creature movies with me; Jaws, The Cave, The Thing, Aliens vs. Predators – and the funny thing is, we usually get hungry halfway through the movie. (Except the Thing, which made me lose my appetite for my cold sausage lunch just a little bit). Just when I think I’m seriously irritated at him and won’t be able to speak to him for a week, he says something that makes me crack up, or he does something nice or puts in a good word for me with someone. He’s very logical and scientifically-minded, I’m anything but, and so we often disagree, but we usually have very friendly arguments. In fact, we love arguing! But it’s a very affectionate sort of arguing that most other people don’t understand. One of my favorite memories of Mac is from when we lived in Florida. I was seven, and Mac was reading a book on the couch. I climbed up and sat next to him and he patted my head and we read the book. I don’t know why that one memory has stuck in my head for so long, but I don’t think it will ever leave. I love my brother.
Riah + me
And then there’s my sister. Up until a few years ago, we were more like worst enemies than friends. She irritated me to no end; mainly because I let myself be irritated and I let my temper get out of control. She would always copy everything I did – if I said I liked something, the little kangaroo in her pouch said ‘me, too!’ Oh, this would drive me CRAZY. I felt like she was trying to steal my identity. When we would go out, everybody would ooh and aah over her red hair, and then look at me and say “Oh… yours is pretty, too.” As if that really fools a kid. She was always the one who could get away with anything, while I would stand there flabbergasted and angry. I was rude to her, I fought with her, and sometimes I downright disliked her (no matter how much you love someone, there will be times you will dislike them. This is a fact).
And then something funny happened a little ways into our teenage years. We became friends. We’d always had trouble communicating; we matured differently, thought differently, liked different things. But then, almost overnight, all of that stopped. We liked each other! Now, she spends half of her nights on the trundle in my room and we talk for hours about anything and everything. We have so many private jokes that it would be utterly impossible to count them. I try and get her to read fantasy, she tries to make me read Agatha Christie. She’s a purist, I like twists on things. She likes more elegant, refined styles while I lean more toward casual bohemian. We still argue and get mad at each other, but I can honestly say that she is my best friend.
Siblings are awesome, but sadly, often underrated. Take time to appreciate your sibling – you don’t have to be the perfect brother or the perfect sister. I’m far from perfect and I often fall short of being the sister I want to be. But really, relationships with your siblings can’t be replaced by anything else.