My sister is enough older than me that when we were kids it really mattered.
She is about three and a half years older than me. And that means that she has memories of our parents together, but I don’t. She remembers our old house fairly well, while I barely do. She remembers our old neighborhood, school and friends with fondness, while I struggle to remember any of it.
She was also old enough to develop a motherly instinct around me once my mother was out of the picture or even during the separation when we needed our parents to be more like parents for us, hard to do given the circumstance. I remember a particular scene when my parents were fighting loudly in the house and my sister and I were in my Dad’s car. She was holding me, protecting me, in the backseat.
I’ve always felt that she has been this way regarding me. Throughout my entire life she has been supportive like a parent, proud like a parent.
We didn’t start to have the relationship where these traits showed themselves until I was in high school. I tortured my sister, literally, as a child; throwing things at her, destroying her bedroom door with a Transformer doll, hitting her in the face with a square clock, punching her for no reason. So it took some time for me to calm down and for her to forgive me. But by the time she was driving my best friend and I to high school every morning, we were cool.
And since then our relationship has grown without interruption.
My sister is not enough older than me that it matters at all today.
In many ways she is my best friend. I can be my whole self around her. I bet she is the only person who read this blog who was not surprised by a single posting in it, well her and my wife. I can tell her when I’m doing great. When I’m doing too great. And when I’m not doing too great. She is the least judgmental person I know and has a lot of life experience to draw all kinds of advice from.
Unfortunately her biggest asset, her big heart, is also her downfall. She gets deeply wounded very easily. A careless throwaway statement may send her brooding and she might not tell you until she cools down about it (not necessarily a bad thing), which can catch you off-guard. I have learned that in spite of this, it is best to get everything out in the open. She deals best with a situation where she knows the truth even if it hurts her.
She is the only sibling I’ve got, and for a long time I felt like she was the only person in my corner. She doesn’t like to sit back watching life take nasty jabs at me, but she has always been willing to sponge away the blood and get me back into shape to go back out there.