Wow, who am I as a sister? I have one biological sister, one biological brother and 3 bonus sisters.
As with all my other relationships this one is no different; I am not a terrible sister but I am also not a great sister. This post is not intended to hurt anyone’s feelings or offend. I am merely looking at myself and sharing my feelings so I can understand myself better and the people I love who would care to read this, can understand me better.
As the middle child growing up, I always felt like the odd man out. My little brother and older sister got along famously, I often felt a little jealous of their relationship. I felt like my sister being the oldest was “daddy’s girl” and my brother being the youngest was “mommy’s boy”…where did that leave me? I know now that most middle children feel these feelings but at the time with my limited understanding, I did not understand my place in the family. It was because of my feelings regarding my place in the family, I did what I could for attention…I was the active kid, I feel like I was feisty, talkative, hyperactive and quite possibly a handful.
I tried to be funny a lot and wound up hurting someone’s feelings sometimes because I took it too far. I recall playing in the backyard with a bunch of the neighbor kids and my little brother; I pretended to put a lightening bug in his shirt because he was a little afraid of them. Mom punished me for it. I didn’t understand why at the time but now I get it. While I thought it was funny to yank his chain, it was mean and scary to him. While I was kind of mean to him, I felt obligated to protect him from others. I remember on the school bus other kids picking on him, they tried to say it was ok because I did it too…I put them in their place by telling them I had a right as his sister to pick on him but they had NO right. I am told I was protective of my sister when we were younger, but I don’t remember it. I do remember fighting with her, but on the other hand, there were times we a lot of fun together. I remember we got perfume in a bottle with a lid that made it look like a doll. We went in our room used it to have “perfume fights” …it smelled so bad, but it was so much fun! I don’t remember a lot about my interactions with my biological siblings but those couple of stories stick out in my memories.
My sister moved out before entering 11th grade and I moved out at 17 and went to the army, that would have made my little brother around 11 / 12 when I moved out and 9/ 10 when my sister moved out. Needless to say, with all three of us in different states during those years, it was hard to bond and know who each of us grew up to be. These days, my sister and brother live close to each other so they have gotten to know the adults each of them have become and as I understand it, they are very close. I am so happy they have each other. Perhaps one day we can all get to know each other again.
I want to share a little about my BONUS sisters! I met them as a married adult with a baby so I did not get to spend much time with them to get to know them as much as I would have liked, but I do feel close to them. As with my biological siblings, we are geographically distant from one another. I remember when I first met them, they were so sweet and accepted me right away. They have been a blessing to me and their actions show me that they love me as much as I love them. What I really appreciate about them is that they have wholly accepted my dad and our family as part of their own. That is not often the case with a blended family and it is beautiful to see it in action!
In closing, I understand that due to distance, my siblings and I do not get to interact as much as some siblings do. But given the fact that I have been apart from my biological siblings most of our lives and we all basically “grew up” apart from one another, and I did not meet my Bonus sisters until I was an adult, I think we are doing pretty good! Relationships generally require people to be nearby to grow, my siblings and I did not have that luxury, but despite all our challenges and roadblocks, we have managed to have relationships of some sort. In short, I love ALL my siblings and I feel so lucky to have them all in my life on one way or another.
In going through this exercise, I am not sure that I really know who I am as a sister, but based on what I do know, I understand whether your siblings are biological or bonus, love is the most important part of being a sister.