My sister came up to visit this weekend. I hope to be able to reciprocate in the next month or so, because she and her husband are pursuing job prospects out of state and I don't want to wait until it's too late to see her on a regular basis.
My sister is the only sibling I have. When we were little, I was a reasonably horrid older sister. My mom claims it has a large part to do with jealousy; I have my own thoughts on the subject, but regardless of the psychology, I wasn't nice. I tormented, bullied, teased, pestered, and otherwise did everything in my power to make my sister's life miserable... and succeeded fairly admirably. As a teen, I did everything in my power to escape my home life as much and as often as possible, which meant that while I wasn't there to give my sister a hard time any more, I wasn't there to talk with her and provide any sort of support, either... something we both probably could have used. My memories of her being a teenager are fuzzy at best (though to be fair, my own high school memories aren't exactly clear in places, either. There's psychology at work there, too). She said something about having a job at a movie theater, and I had to admit to myself that I'd completely forgotten about that entire phase of her life, which made me feel quite guilty.
When we were young, I wanted nothing in common with her. It drove me crazy that she wanted to eat from the same box of cereal at breakfast (never mind that there were only two, maybe three kinds to choose from). When we got older, my mom told me that my sister strove to get good grades - something that didn't come as naturally to her as to me - because I'd set such a formidable example. Mom tried to put me on a pedestal as a role model, but I staunchly refused to acknowledge that there was any similarity between my sister and myself. I didn't help her out, I didn't provide advice, I didn't play with her.
There's no reason whatsoever that my sister should still look up to me. There's no reason that she should still want to associate with me, but for some reason, she does, and best of all, my sister has forgiven me for my past. She tells me that I was rather nice as a teen, and now, though we're not necessarily close compared to many sisters, we're certainly closER than we were as kids.
For this, I am grateful.
It's really nice to be able to call someone else up and have a rant about our mother or father. It's nice to pull out random memories and have someone laugh over them or provide a new perspective. It's even nice to discuss how we perceived our upbringing (remarkably similar in most cases, though we reacted differently as we grew older).
My sister is a pretty cool person, now that I look at her with the eyes of a mature adult and not with those of a displaced firstborn child. She likes to hike. She's incredibly creative and designed - and sewed - her own wedding dress. She loves animals and it breaks her heart that she's allergic to cats... though she came to visit ME, with my half-dozen, and didn't complain once about the runny nose, sneezing, itchy eyes, etc. that came along with her visit. (I did try to provide as much medication as possible.) She's willing to listen to me rant about various topics, even if she has no experience in the field herself. She's taken aerial silk lessons and has biceps that make me jealous. She's one of the most loyal people I've ever met.
While she was here, I didn't exactly give her fascinating memories to take home. We talked. She made brownies with my son and a candle with my daughter. We watched a movie and drank wine last night and today we took M2 and crashed our dad's house for a couple hours. I know she's got plenty of stuff planned for my visit, but I'm just not that cool.
Memorable weekend or not, though, she came. I got to see her, talk to her, laugh with her, and just be with her. These moments are precious to me, and I hope she knows it.
I love you, Sister. Thanks for being you!