One year. Nine months.
That's how long I was an only child.
I have no recollection of this time, only after. After I became a sister.
The position itself, is certainly like no other; and an even greater bonus for me within the role is that I happen to be the eldest. I’ve found the hierarchy attached to the station to be rather interesting. Because you’re not quite a parent, not quite a friend… you sort of find yourself somewhere in-between those two roles the majority of the time.
It's difficult to define sisterhood. There's ups and downs. Pros and cons. Joys and sorrows. Well, you get the point; this is the case for many things in life. But being a sister never ceases to be both an adventure and a wonderful privilege.
There are so many amazing aspects to it, because it's a two-way street. You both have someone to talk to and hang out with, have someone that will listen to your words and hug you when you cry, someone who you can entrust your secrets, and despite an occasional slip-up when it involves surprise parties, you know that those secrets are safe.
I didn’t get to choose my siblings, but how grateful I am that they were picked to be mine. Funnily enough, I didn’t always think that. When I was younger, they annoyed me to no end. They constantly followed me around and mimicked everything I did. But as I’ve grown older and time has passed, I’ve gained understanding of why they did those things. They just loved me, looked up to me, and wanted to be around me. And I am so happy that we are super close now.
Perhaps, some of my favorite memories are the most humbling. Like when my siblings would fight over whose turn it was to sit on my bed and then get to tell me all their woes. It makes me laugh, because I wasn't aware of how big of a deal it was to have me listen to their problems. But it was rather eye opening as to how important that time with me was viewed. Obviously, I didn't possess all the answers in those moments, I still don’t, but I could lend an ear and offer advice, perspective, and hopefully, encouragement, and that meant something to them.
I’ve had a few different jobs in my life. I’ve sorted and shelved books at a library, I’ve scheduled appointments and took phone calls, I’ve wrote letters and have taught children. These things have had relevance and carried weight where they should, but some of those things come and go, but my job as a sister never does. It’s a permanent position that I truly treasure.
I don’t know the full impact I have on my siblings. But I do know that the love I show them, through just listening, comforting, and aiding them, have an affect on their lives. Which in turn, influences the other various environments they visit, and the people they’re around. Whether it be their school or workplace, or their friends and romantic relationships, it’s evident that there is an effect that floods over into those areas of their lives.
Getting to be a sister is such a beautiful gift, and the role doesn’t have to stop at being blood relatives. You can be a sister to so many others as well. It can be your friends, someone you met who’s desperately looking for direction, your classmate, etc. There are so many people who would love to have a sister. Because a sister, is someone who loves you, cares about you, will help you and listen to you. The description goes on and on, and the ripples of the heart of that position spreads wide. This is a job that lasts forever, it never goes away.
So, even when my brother grows inches past my height, and my sister graduates collage, and the inevitable time comes where we all move away to have our own families, I'll forever be their sister. I’ll chat with them on the phone and send them ridiculous memes through text. I’ll visit them, and we'll plan lunch dates and movie nights. I’ll let them tell me their frustrations and offer my advice. I’ll hug them through their tears and tell them everything will be alright. I’ll help plan parties and weddings and celebrate their lives. I’ll apologize and forgive whenever we have a fight. But most importantly, I'll cheer them on with a smile throughout their whole life.
Because for all of their life, I’ve been their sister, and I'll continue to be.