I hope you liked my first post about the countdown to my birthday! Before we continue the list, I quick story. My sister called me after reading yesterday’s post and said,
“I just read your blog post. All this time I thought you were turning 30.”
I wish I could say my response was cool and casual. Something like, “No 29. Gosh, you’re silly.” This was not the case. I felt like she had slapped me across the face. How could she forget! How could she age me an extra year!?!
After I wiped the foam from my mouth, I thought about my reaction. I was a little surprised at myself. If this were three years ago, I don’t think I would be upset if she thought I was turning 26 instead of 25. I like to think I have a handle on this whole getting older thing. I tell myself ‘our culture is too obsessed with youth’ and ‘age is just a number’ and other mantras to ease my transition into ALMOST 30. Clearly, this ride could still get bumpy.
This next part of my list is dedicated to my sisters.
29 THINGS I HAVE LEARNED IN 29 YEARS:
a list in 29 days
Day Three: lessons from sisterhood
3. You are the oldest – it’s always your fault.
I’m the oldest of three girls. Being the oldest is pretty tough job mostly because your parents have no clue what they are doing. You are the guinea pig child, and it’s about time you got used to it. If you’re lucky, your parents will create younger humans who share your genes and will understand the uniqueness of your childhood experiences. Sisters (and brothers) can be the best.
BUT, if you are the oldest sibling, it is important to know that everything will be your fault*. Growing up, every tear or scream from your little sisters is assumed to be the result of some cruel torture you have inflicted. Guilty until proven otherwise. Even if circumstances prove that you are not to blame for the most recent meltdown, you are still expected to make concessions. They are younger than you after all! Plus, my baby sister had dimples and really knew how to turn on the water works. Don’t think for one second that she didn’t abuse this superpower. This will result in countless (and seemingly unjustified) occasions of playing ‘baby’ games, giving up toys, changing the channel, or being sent to your room.
Even once all the siblings are grown, there are times when you have to step up and be a scapegoat. ‘She’s in a mood – don’t provoke her!’ or ‘She’s sensitive about (insert the issue of the month), why did you bring it up?’ I’m sure it probably goes the other way around, but this is my list so back off!
4. Even if it sounds like fun, it might not be a good idea.
Although learned in childhood, this is a lesson that stands the test of time. One evening, my little sister (approximately 4 years old at the time) created an excellent game. It essentially consisted of spinning around until you were sickeningly dizzy. (There was a second phase of the game that involved jumping on pillows in a certain pattern, but that isn’t relevant to the story.) While taking a break from the game, my little sister was spinning ’round and ’round (as per the rules of the game) when she fell and hit her head on the coffee table. She stood up and I spied blood POURING down her face directly between her eyes. I managed to walk her into the next room (very calmly for my young 7 years) where my parents were watching t.v. Panic ensued as did a trip to the emergency room. I was yelled at because, of course, this was all my fault. (See #3) In hindsight, spinning around until you cannot stand was probably not the safest form of recreational activity.
This lesson can also be applied to:
- Sledding down a giant hill directly towards a parked car
- Staying out until 3 a.m. the morning before a final exam
- Diving into a pool with a glass bottle of beer in my hand
- Kissing guys who aren’t *technically* single
- Removing items of clothing in a frat house
5. Sisters know you the best and can hurt you the worst.
Your sisters can be the most wonderful people on the planet. Your sisters will have the ability to drive you completely insane. Your sisters have probably seen you at your worst but will celebrate with you at your best. They know your insecurities just like you know theirs; please use this information for good and not evil.
You don’t have to be the same people, so don’t bother trying to change them into your clones. Enjoy them when you can because they probably won’t live down the street forever. Remember you all come from the same place, so they are the only ones who know exactly how crazy your parents truly are.
*Ok, the times when I would pin you down and threaten to spit on you…that was mean. I definitely deserved punishment for that because that was really gross. Thanks for loving me despite it.