More than Sharing Genes

Dedicated to C & M: without you, I wouldn’t have learned how to boss people around so efficiently.

Anyone who has siblings understands that being related to someone doesn’t automatically make you best friends. I know some people who have nothing in common with their own flesh and blood; the mere fact that they share a parent becomes the only reason they even exist in each others lives. An old roommate of mine had 11 older brothers and sisters – some of whom she hadn’t talked to in years and didn’t even invite to her wedding. But in theory, a relationship with a sibling should be fairly easy to maintain. Siblings share an intricate, complex and often complicated history of funny childhood memories, family secrets and inside jokes. When I’m with either of my own sisters around “outsiders,” we know it’s time to rejoin the crowd when our friends get that glazed over, “I have no idea what you are talking about, but it must have been funny because you guys are acting crazy” look on their faces.

Before I had children, I always wished that I would have daughters. I couldn’t quite imagine a little boy in my life. After growing up with sisters and a stay-at-home mom, I didn’t think I’d know how to deal with a house full of testosterone. But the want for girls was more than gender specific. The underlying hope of having little girls was the dream of birthing sisters.

My own sisters are both incredible, fascinating, intelligent and beautiful women. Eight years and three different lifestyles equate to being completely different on many levels. However, this also means that each of us have so much to bring to the table. We do not remain close simply because we are sisters, rather, we put the necessary energy and love into maintaining our friendships. At this point in our adult lives, it is something more than pure genetics that keeps us connected – it is choice.

I can’t imagine my life without my sisters; without having someone who simply gets it without having to explain; without having the kind of relationship where you can immediately jump back into each others lives without keeping in touch day by day; without knowing there is another person out there who knows the depths of your soul and loves you unconditionally.

One of the best things about being a mom to a set of sisters is watching them interact. At four and one years old, their interactions often end in Lily screaming, “Mama she pulled my hair! Mama she scratched me! Mama she’s bothering me!” But there are times (usually when they think I’m not watching) when they do actually play together. These moments make my heart melt. I can only imagine that as they both grow, there will of course be silly squabbles and intentional cutting of barbie hair, but also plenty of opportunities for games and dolls and cooking projects and books and swings.

And in the end, this is my dream for Lily and Vivienne. I wish that they will remain as close to each other as I have with my own sisters. I hope that in the future, they go beyond sharing the same gene pool – to sharing jeans – to choosing to be influential and awe-inspiring role models in each others lives.

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4 Responses to More than Sharing Genes

  1. carlydandrea says:

    This is such a lovely post. I almost thought you would leap into the notion of having sisters in the sense of somehow sharing a sister-like relationship with your daughters, or entering into a sisterhood that a mother and daughter can in their adulthood when you’re not so busy playing the role model/referee. I have never had a sister, but I share a camaraderie with my mother which has evolved in our adulthood. It’s a dimension of a complex relationship that also includes mother and daughter-hood. Family female alliance can be repaired, formed or strengthened out of mutual understanding, respect, trust, laughter and honesty.

  2. Julie (Mom) says:

    Exactly what I was going to say, carlydandrea. I want to add that I am blessed with 3 fantastic daughters who really are great friends now as adults (although I’m still in bossy mode with my baby, Melissa, too frequently). What wonderful women they have grown to be! I’m so proud. I love you, sweeties.

  3. Christina says:

    I love you.

  4. Aunt Jen says:

    This blog almost makes me depressed:( I always longed for daughters and so did my ex. I was always around women and only nieces and no nephews. I still long for the mother daughter relationship that I see everyone else having. I am blessed with a terrific mom and sister so I know how great those relationships can be. I am very blessed with two wonderful and loving sons but still feel a void. I pray I get great daughter in laws and hopefully a granddaughter. Love you Anya! Thanks for being in my life as well as C & M.

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