I know very little of sisters. They seem awesome, and I do envy those who have them, but always felt all was right in the world for my not having one. I don't think I was meant to have another female in my house with whom to compare myself because we all remember that I was a bit funky looking. I remember wondering how my 4 brothers stood having each other to compare themselves to while growing up. (Stressing here the while growing up part. Though maybe one never outgrows it with age...more maturity? I don't know.) Not all my brothers were MVPs. Not all were traditional ladies' men. One was better at what the other wanted to do. That one was faster. That one was funnier. He had great hair, but then that one had great hair a few years later...
When I was told at 32 that I was having another girl, I plastered on the pleased smile until I was out of the clinic. I may have still had it while walking to the car. But the minute I slammed the car door I was lost in thought. A sister. Colleen will have a sister. Oh no. I was 32 going on 12.
I didn't see it as good- I saw it as a major stress. I knew boys. I grew up with boys. Now I suddenly was going to have 2 girls....maybe NEVER have a boy....and, and, and.....Colleen was so beautiful. Her olive skin and blonding curls. Her eyes so dark blue they were purple upon her birth were now mistaken for brown until you got closer and saw the depth of sea in them. She was so beautiful that I must be pregnant with the sister who would feel inferior. THIS was the way I thought. Don't judge. When I got home and grabbed a hold of my little toddler and hugged her (probably a wee bit too tightly)I thought- "Be kind to your baby sister. Please support her. Don't tease her where it hurts. Don't flaunt what she may not have herself." I was lost in this stress and thought pattern for a long time. Even after Evelyn erupted.
She was born with the most intense eyes and an instant rash to touching my breast. She grabbed me and she screamed at me and her skin was so lovely (where not rashed) and her hair was what I dreamed my child would have. I could see the sunrise through her ears, and one bent slightly towards the ground. I kept feeling like she left her glasses in my womb- that they were missing from her face. Her chest held a divot like one of my brothers. In fact, she was more in appearance to his family, I wondered how she found herself with me. But she did and I was fiercely glad and incredibly, overwhelmingly....overwhelmed.
Some things became clear right away to me. No two babies are alike, and she would not be anything like her sister. Which is the way it should be. As she grew and smiled her offset smile, my heart rejected what I had thought before I met her. She was beautiful. She wasn't "Colleen beautiful" but, thankfully, she was "Evelyn beautiful". Their hair didn't compare to each other's. Their skin was night and day. Their temperaments...well, I SO could call one better than the other if I were to compare, but I am not. Their temperaments will get them both where they need to go in their own style. What was awesome was the minute one began to excel in an area they shared, the other found her strength in her own interest that was not shared. They each have their own thing and I am so grateful for that. That is key.
My biggest concern- not a surprise here- is that one would gain weight and follow in my roll-y footprints. It is in the genes. At this point, it is pretty impossible for one to do it due to sheer weekly caloric burn. And the other is so responsive to what she hears about weight and food and movement in gym class and in the news, that she is fully aware of what can happen. I have shared with my family about my growing up heavy. My husband and I both talk about the importance of moderation and now successfully model it. Every weekend possible, we will explore and walk and climb.
I have figured out on my own to never say, "Why can't you be like your sister and....." And I know I will never let one have a treat and not the other, even if weight ever does become a factor. I will always make one support the other in their achievements. That isn't always a natural progression and needs to be taught from time to time. I know-without having one I know- that these girls need each other's approvals and cheers to know they are doing well. They may not know the importance of being a sister who supports. Well, not yet anyway. But I know that when any one of my brothers stood up for me, congratulated me, or even took a moment to think of me and share that, the world became a more agreeable place to be in.