Yesterday was my little sister's 21st birthday. Twenty-one years and one day ago I was waiting more than impatiently for the arrival of who I already knew was going to be my best friend. I can still remember the day my mums walked into our living room to tell me the good news. We had a stuffed bear named Smokey who lived in the living room where he had the honor of carrying my little 3B Visalia saddle when I wasn’t riding it. I was lying on the floor next to him, coloring, when my mums walked into the room. “You are going to have a little sister! She’s your BEST FRIEND and she can’t wait to meet you!! She is so excited to see you and you’ll get to teach her how to do all the big girl things you know how to do, like read and color and ride!” To say I was excited is really a pathetic understatement. Throughout the rest of the mum’s pregnancy, my excitement to meet my best friend and “my baby” was almost unbearable. I would sit as close to my mum’s tummy as I could and read Adrian books, sing her songs and tell her of all the amazing things we were going to do together when she finally arrived.
I was there when Adrian was born, and I can remember my mum’s best friend holding me in her arms and I was so confused as to why she was crying….this was something to be happy about!! I was happy…apparently I was swinging my entire arm like a pitcher in a wind-up, screaming as loudly as I could, “ADRIAN!!! I love you!! I’m your sister and I LOVE YOU!!!!” Yeah, a little overkill there, kid. And then someone hoisted me up on the bed next to my mums and the DR handed me my baby, and I got to hold my little sister. I was the first person to hold Adrian…before my mums or my dad. And from that moment when she first looked into my eyes, we’ve been buddies.
Even though I have memories from before Adrian was born, all my favorite memories start after she finally arrived; her first bath, learning how to read, learning to ride her bike, loosing her baby teeth and terror of terrors, getting her driver’s permit. We’ve gone through so many experiences together that sometimes it’s hard to know where one of us begins and the other ends….kind of like looking at a reata. There are separate strands twisted together, but it’s difficult to tell which is which. We've taken this saying as our own because it’s the perfect description of our relationship:
“We’re just different sides of the same tear drop.”
Sometimes Adrian and I joke that our relationship as sisters is like that of an old married couple because we’ve been best friends for 21 years now, we have to continuously work to make our relationship work, and sometimes we tell the other sister, “We talked about this, remember?!” When we realize we’ve actually said that out loud we generally start laughing and the irritation dissolves.
We meet so many people who think that our relationship as sisters is a big act, or else that we just lucked out and no one else is capable of having a relationship like we do. Do you want the secret to our success at remaining best friends for all these years? Because I’m here to tell you that’s not been all sunshine and happiness. Sometimes it has really sucked! The “secret” is hard work and a good base. Our parents set us up to be friends, to love one another and to take care of each other. Instead of my mums telling me how different life was going to be and how she wouldn’t have as much time to spend with me when the new baby came, she choose to lay the foundation by making me excited to meet my best friend. And she and my dad taught us by example that you have to love the other sister more than yourself, and it takes a whole lot of hard work. Sometimes, I’m just a major bitch to Adrian. And some days, she’s a real bitch to me. But we made a decision to always be a part of each other’s lives and to never loose this awesome friendship that we have. We don’t take it for granted because we see what it CAN be like to have a sister that isn’t your best friend. We’ve both gone through some incredibly tragic and difficult times, and we know that we would have never come out the other side without our sister to hold and carry us through the times when we couldn’t walk ourselves.
So if you have a sister, you potentially have a built in best friend! Love her, use kind words and treat her like you want to be treated. There is no love like that of a sister!
“For there is no friend like a sister
In calm or stormy weather;
To cheer one on the tedious way,
To fetch one if one goes astray,
To lift one if one totters down,
To strengthen whist one stands.”
Christina Rossetti, Goblin Market
xo xo Liz