How do people make it through life without a sister?

Having a sister is a truly wonderful blessing and I often feel sorry for those of you who don’t get to have this special sibling bond in your lives. She knows all my stories and shares my memories. She understands why I sometimes get emotional and she gets my sense of humour, without thinking I’m a weirdo! My sister and I have a special relationship that has evolved, it has twisted and turned over time and even though we can disagree, and sometimes often, we will always have each other’s back.

My sister was born fourteen months after me, so there hasn’t been a lot of my life when she hasn’t been around. I’ve been told that I wasn’t too impressed with the little squalling usurper when she arrived. When my sister was around six months old, I actually tried to make her in to a cake. In the middle of the kitchen floor I had poured a bag of flour over her head and had managed to open the oven door only for my devious plan to be thwarted by our Mother. Mum thought it was hilarious, but I so wish she’d taken a photo that day. My cake baking abilities have obviously improved since then…though there have been times, especially during the teenage years, when I wished I’d managed to get her in the oven that day!!

This photo was taken around the time of the cake making exercise...as you can see, I'm not happy!
This photo was taken around the time of the cake making exercise…as you can see, I’m not happy!

Being born so close together we were treated like twins growing up. She was my instant play buddy and conspirator in naughty deeds (there were quite a few of these). Most of the time we were just clowns, being silly for silly’s sake and having a good laugh. I’ll never forget the day that we thought we’d help Dad with the painting. He was doing some touch ups outside and we decided to open up a tin of mission brown paint (it was the 70s) and then proceeded to paint the trees, paving, outdoor setting, clothes line etc. but not in a good way…the way three and four year olds would paint. Needless to say we got a good thrashing and to this very day I can not abide the colour of mission brown! Mum called Dad at work and told him to come home immediately…she was so angry she couldn’t tell him what we had done. I’m still peeved that I got most of the blame, because as the older sibling I should have known better. It didn’t matter that it was actually my sisters idea in the first place, being fourteen months older meant that I was obviously more responsible and mature at the age of four years!! (let it go Amy…)

Silly for silly's sake
Silly for silly’s sake

Even though we were like twins, my sister is so very different to me, both in looks and outlook. Looking at us together, most people would find it hard to believe we come from the same parents. She’s tall and thin, I’m shorter and dumpy (those cake making skills certainly haven’t helped). She’s got lovely olive skin with blonde hair and I’m pasty white with brown hair. Chalk and cheese rather than two peas in a pod!

Chalk and cheese
Chalk and cheese

We have taken very different paths in life, and sometimes I have wondered and despaired of her decision making, but I think this has made our relationship stronger. Our differences have forced us to respect each other’s decisions. She’s an amazingly warm and loving person with a heart the size to match. She’s had to work so hard just to get by and I’m always amazed at how she manages to survive on so little and still raise four amazing children. I only wish that she gets a chance to enjoy herself more in this life and for a little bit of luck to come her way. She definitely deserves it.

Exploring the outback
Exploring the bush

As an adult I discovered that my sister often felt inferior to my successes as we were growing up. Apparently I was the shining star in our family, which was news to me! I really regret the fact that she thought she needed to compare herself to me or thought that our parents did compare us. We’re so different that it would be silly to think that my way was the only way to go through life. She probably doesn’t know that I am in awe of her abilities. I often feel underwhelmed by my safe and conservative life while she has experienced so much more that life can offer. There have been many times in our adult lives when I have definitely felt like the younger sibling looking up to my more knowledgeable and experienced sister.

SCN_0317

We’ve been through so much together. We had a difficult upbringing with an often absent mother so we had to band together and support each other. I was sometimes her mother, which came naturally to me being the older bossy sister, though I often feel guilty that I wasn’t there for her more often. I remember so clearly the first time she got her period and I freaked out. I wish I’d been able to show her what to do rather than being embarrassed about the whole thing. Being a mother at thirteen is probably not the best outcome though.

She has also given me great joy and life changing experiences. I was her birthing partner for her two eldest children. Witnessing a child being born is an amazing and truly humbling experience and so very different from delivering a child yourself. The feelings of helplessness and inability to do anything to help someone you love when they are in pain, made me understand what my husband went through.

Love you little sis!
Love you little sis!

I’m so grateful that she is my sister. I will admit that I sometimes feel the urge to slap her, but as I love and respect her so much, I always manage to stop myself in time – now that’s true sisterly love. Happy Birthday Sweetie. Is it time for cake? 🎂🍰 I promise I won’t cover you in flour! 😋

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