I am the oldest, or to hear them tell it, the ancient one. I suppose that's true. I already had a child by the time my youngest sisters were in middle school. I guess that alone would make me look a little antique to them. Fair enough.
Because I was so ancient, I did a good amount of babysitting my sisters. But, I was OK with that. Maybe because my parents paid me, and maybe because my sisters were absolutely and without question the coolest kids on Earth.
Those experiences with them made me a better parent to my own kids. It taught me how to pick a lock when a child is throwing a God awful tantrum and locks herself in the bathroom (Thanks Jennie, it's a useful trick.). It taught me that distraction is the most powerful weapon in a parent's arsenal, "Look! A shiny object! Go chase it!" It taught me that if you tell a child "No, you cannot have another popsicle," they will probably still love you anyway. But, it also taught me that if you don't let kids taste the cookie dough before it goes in the oven, they will remember it for the rest of your life. Seriously, they will never let it go. Ever. Some things are forgivable, some are not. Live and learn.
In high school, I used my little sisters as a bit of a litmus test when boys came over. If Jennie didn't like them, or they didn't offer to watch Julie and Jill perform a dance from the latest Backstreet Boys video...they were goners. My husband passed the test. He was the only one. They're a tough crowd.
I also 'interrogated' boys who came by for them when they were old enough. I can't imagine what those gentlemen thought when they came over for dinner with the family, and were asked just what exactly their intentions were with my sister. I was really good at making a nice meal uncomfortable. (Sorry, mom.)
Before I paint an inaccurate picture of my childhood, I will confess, my sisters also annoyed me. They annoyed me a lot. Daily. (They stole my clothes. It was unacceptable.) We would fight. I don't mean like a girly cat fight. I mean more like a drunken Irish brawl/WWE wrestling match hybrid. Tolerating us would be miracle enough to have our parents canonized. We were relentless, but we learned to stand up for ourselves. We also learned the art of the back handed compliment, as our punishments often involved being forced to say nice things to each other.
I moved away when my sisters were still in school. It sucked leaving them, but I came back for band concerts, volleyball games, and to do their hair for prom. I know I missed out on a lot, but I got to be there for the big things, and I missed their angsty, horrible teenage stuff. I may not have liked them as much if I had to deal with angsty, horrible teenage stuff. Who knows?
Today is my sisters' birthday, and it has me feeling all gushy and nostalgic (obviously). My baby sisters are turning 25. A number which is incredible to me. They have been around for a quarter century. Weird, because when I think of them this is what I see:
|We were cute. And awesome.|
Happy Birthday, twinsies. You mean the world to me.