I cherish my sisterly bonds now and forever
By Kathleen Goddeyne -
Something strange has happened to me this holiday season. I often get a case of what I like to call “baby fever,” but this is the first Christmas season that I’ve truly wanted a baby of my own. I guess that is part of growing up, but it still took me by surprise.
For just a moment, I let my imagination run wild and I envisioned my future with several children around the Christmas tree. I can’t help but smile at the imagery, even as I am writing this.
That entire Christmas baby craze got me thinking about my own childhood. I must say that I am happy that I grew up with siblings, sisters to be exact. After the wonderful childhood I had and all of the memories I share with my sisters, I can’t imagine what it must be like to grow up as an only child.
I know that it isn’t a form of torture and that many individuals enjoyed their only child experience. But I know what it is like to have two great sisters. I have the best ones in the world: Nicole and Andrea.
Nicole has always been my partner in crime. We are only a couple of years apart, so we’ve had many of the same interests and friends during our lifetime. I have always looked up to her and loved her dearly, although she wasn’t too enthused when I came into the world. Who could blame her though? She was ripped from the only child position upon my arrival.
Andrea is nearly six years younger than me. When she was born, I absolutely hated her. I had a terrible case of “middle child syndrome.” Even as a young girl I remember being in shock and disbelief that I was no longer the baby. After more than half a decade, moving to the side to let someone else take your place can be difficult.
I’ll never be able to remember the day I decided that I loved Nicole. I think I just automatically loved her, like a child loves a parent. I’ve never had to be without my big sister.
I do, however, remember the moment that I decided I loved Andrea. She had been in the hospital for a skull corrective surgery for about a week or so. She wasn’t even able to walk yet and had to undergo a life threatening surgery. As I was a child myself, I couldn’t fully grasp the situation, so it didn’t affect me.
The days passed and all that I really remember now is being even more annoyed with my baby sister for taking up so much of my parents’ time.
One day, my mom picked Nicole and me up from school with a warning for us. I don’t remember her exact words, but essentially she was preparing us for Andrea’s physical state, so that she wouldn’t startle or frighten us.
The nature of Andrea’s surgery caused her whole head to swell. Her skin and scalp were black, blue, green, purple, yellow, any of the colors a bruise can be in any stage of the healing process. And she had what I considered to be a funny haircut where doctors had shaved her head to make the ear-to-ear incision. I was still happy to see her and I still thought she was the cutest darn thing in the world, which had always been undeniable whether or not I enjoyed her company.
We walked through the door and snuck through the living room until we were behind the toddler. Mom turned Andrea’s walker around and as soon as my sweet baby sister saw us, she jumped so high that she cleared her walker. I’ll never forget the look on her face, the high pitched squeals, or the fact that my little sister turned into a little Mexican jumping bean on steroids when she saw us for the first time in a week.
She was so happy to see Nicole and me that it was impossible not to reciprocate the feeling.
Having siblings means having stories like these to share. It means having someone to share the cookies you snuck into bed with. It means having a constant set of best friends who will stand beside you, hand in yours, no matter the situation. I wouldn’t trade my sisters for anything in the world and I don’t plan on cheating my future children out of relationships that will truly last a lifetime either.