When my family gets together, the house is filled with laughter and joy and stories from our past. There’s one particular story which refuses to stay buried. It’s a tale of siblings at their worst and goes something like this:
First, let me introduce the characters in my tale: one very cool sixteen year older brother, fourteen year old Me who could’ve starred in Toby Keith’s song I Wanna Talk About Me, our eleven year old sister who would do anything her older siblings told her to do, and our four year old baby sister, who within the space of one minute could go from cute and cuddly to whiney and annoying as only a four year old child can do.
On a summer day off from school, with our parents away shopping, we played baseball in the backyard. Our baby sister was determined to join in but of course we wouldn’t let her. After much whining and begging, she finally threatened to run away.
With cruel glee, we grabbed mom’s kerchief, filled it with food, found an old broom handle and fashioned a hobo stick. We stuck one end of the stick in our sister’s chubby little hand, threw the other end over her shoulder, then shooshed her out the back gate.
Mad as can be, she stomped up the alley while we laughed and jeered and urged her on. But as she trudged further and further from home, her anger faded and doubts set in. Reaching the end of the alley, she had to make a decision – turn left or right. Continue on or stop.
She stopped. Nearly a full block away from the people she depended on the most, she stood with the hobo stick over her shoulder, alone and sobbing while we laughed at her. Eventually we took pity and brought her home but I think of that little girl now, scared to be so far from home, pushed away by the people she loved most.
Although it’s many years later, we still talk about this childhood moment and remember the laughter mixed with the cruelty. Our baby sister, who now has babies of her own, takes the teasing with grace and a smile – and gives us a jab or two back. Yet she holds no grudges … or perhaps she’s just biding her time, waiting for the perfect opportunity to get even with her much older siblings, waiting until we’re in her care and too old to defend ourselves. Yeah, that’s the scenario I imagine, when that little girl finally has the opportunity for some payback.
What was the meanest thing you ever did to your sibling(s)? Or if you were nicer than my siblings and me, then feel free to share your favourite childhood stories from your family crypt.
These are the women in my life: my mom, my sisters, my aunt, my sister-in-law and cousins-in-law. We are united in our bond as family members and even though we’re scattered around the country, we come together for weddings and funerals and various other family occasions. I love these women. They’re a part of who I was yesterday, who I am today, and who I’ll be tomorrow.
But in the world beyond my family, I’ve discovered another sisterhood, women with whom I’ve opened a vein and shared my innermost dreams and sorrows and joy. While men have always been vital to my life – as a teenager, I coveted my girlfriend’s four older brothers and wished I could exchange my sisters for them – it’s only been in recent years that I’ve learned to truly appreciate the many women in my life.
When I look back, the sisterhood has always been there, from playing dress-up as a kid to playing Barbie in the empty lot next door. From sharing the angst of unrequited love to sharing the joy of bridal showers and wedding vows. From impending motherhood to exchanging distant – but never forgotten – memories of childbirth.
The sisterhood is all about relationships and families and womanly support. It’s my very own cheerleader squad which comes to the rescue when I need them the most. It’s the woman next door who lends me a cup of sugar so I don’t have to make a trip to the store. It’s the girlfriend who offers to babysit my toddler so I can take a break from being a mommy. It’s the co-worker who takes one look at me, realizes I’m having a horrific day and covers for me without question. It’s the writer-friend who gives me the honest critique I requested, then worries they’ve hurt my tender feelings.
This is my sisterhood, the special women in my life, who stand beside me no matter what. Who are the special women in your life and what makes them so different from the men in your life?