Although you wouldn’t know it from seeing us together today, my sister and I did not get along growing up. Which is probably the biggest understatement ever if you speak to our mother. We were so bad that our mom basically invented the concept of the “get along shirt” by making us spend an entire Thanksgiving weekend one year within two feet of one another.
I believe for awhile we may have been tethered together by our wrists but after 24-hours we were released for good behavior. Or until I threatened to call CPS. (Sidenote, I should do a follow-up post called “Mommy Don’t Play: The Kathy Story”) Either way, sisters giggling in the night we were not. And why? Because I was a bad big sister growing up. And maybe I was still sort of a crappy one until I turned 22-ish. That being said, I think I helped to build her a lot of character. And isn’t that part of an older sibling’s job? To make sure that your little brother or sister has the toughness, strength, and balls to take on a world that’s not going to have a Mom or Dad there to force the non-familial jerks to make an insincere apology and give an ass-out hug to them? Actually, I think an older sibling’s job is to protect them from the jerks, but I digress.
With two kids, I’ve thought a lot about how my sister and I were growing up. Probably because I see a lot of myself in AJR. Cue to my mother sitting in her house in Ohio wringing her hands together, cackling as her revenge of “I hope you have a child just like you!” has been exacted. I’m of course secretly pleased by this observation because who doesn’t want a kid in their likeness? But also slightly terrified as I did some questionable things to torture my sister. I was hoping that perhaps the brother-sister dynamic would be different, but just yesterday I caught AJR: 1. Hitting his sister in the head with a paper towel roll (which was slightly comical as she wasn’t crying and he was relentless) 2. Kicking her like it was an old fashioned beat down 3. Ramming a giant cardboard box into her. Sigh. Like mother like son.
As penance on my sister’s birthday, I am coming clean on (most) of the crazier things I did to her during our childhood. I have a feeling there are a few I’ve forgotten that she’s kept unhealthily bottled up inside for the past 25 years. So, if she ends up needing therapy one day I am more than happy to go halfsies on it with her (Cookie – you now have this in writing). And Mom, I am sort of sorry for making you have to deal with these things. Only sort of because I think you have to admit that in retrospect having to say “Lynn, do NOT hit your sister with a frozen burrito!” is probably a lot more interesting than what the other moms were yelling at their kids for.
Things I Did to My Sister that I Hope AJR Never Does to Olivia (and things I am admitting I did to my sister that I am very sorry for and totally not proud of because they are awful and beyond ridiculous):
- Threw a cat at her
- Dropped a frozen burrito on her head
- Created haunted houses in the basement and force her to go through them
- Started an “I Hate Kristine” club
- Refuse to let her play with me and my friends. EVER.
- Squeeze her baby dolls’ heads to the point where they collapsed and could never recover
- Pretended like she doesn’t exist in high school
- Grabbed her leg and pulled her down the stairs because she was beating me in a race up said stairs
- Sat on her head*
*Okay, I take full credit for items 1-8 and realize that they are horrible in their own special way. However, on #9 I will maintain my innocence as my sister ASKED me to sit on her head. Whether it was a brilliant plot carefully crafted by her to exploit my penchant for wrong-doing or simply some sort of silly game she wanted to play, all I know is I got my Sega Genesis taken away for two weeks and I
am was not happy. I feel so strongly about this that I want my gravestone to say “Lynn: Beloved wife and mother. Btw, she ASKED me to sit on her head.” Clearly I’ve moved on from this.
A sister is an amazing thing to have. A forgiving sister is even more amazing! Speaking of forgiveness, how about forgiving me for posting this photo right here? Actually, I’m not sure who has it worse. But we can both agree that when our mustached father in his Wranglers is coming out roses, it’s a lose-lose for these sisters.
Despite my past failings as an older sister, now she is my daily text, the one that can make me laugh when I’m too frustrated to do so, and is the best auntie I could ever hope for. I am beyond grateful for my sister and like the fine wines that we don’t drink (hello – can you please direct me to your $10 and under section?) our relationship gets better with time. And that is something I definitely hope AJR & Olivia can have one day. Happy Birthday, little sister! I love you!