Thursday, October 18, 2007

Sisters ...

Yesterday I rode home on the train with a friend of mine. More specifically she was a friend of my sister's and she lives next door to my parents.
We know each other kind of well, in the sense that we've been neighbours and we had a lot of similar friends, and so when we see each other on the train there is usually stuff to chat about. In our case yesterday we were talking about work.
She was mentioning how she got her job and then referred her sister who now works with her. They've worked together in the past, and get along really well. And, it just seemed natural. As she got talking about her sister and the topic of mine came into the conversation it just seemed totally natural that our sisters were so involved in our lives.
Then last night I had my sister's girls over for a few hours. They were eating a bowl of Fruit Loops together - Paige would ask for a specific colour and Kyla would hand it to her. It was such a natural act. It wasn't thought out. They weren't trying to be "good" - they were watching tv and sharing a treat.
And, it got me wondering how on earth you foster relationships like this.
I will say I'm incredibly lucky to have a sister like I do. And, I think at some point we made a decision, somewhat unconscious, that we were going to choose to be sisters and friends. (and this decision I would say, was made when we were no longer sharing a bathroom!).
But, I think it is more than that.
I've been observing different sets of siblings. Some get along really really well. Some can't stand each other.
One of my friends would tell you that she avoids her sister as much as possible - even though she loves her she just doesn't like her.
Is it parenting? Maybe. I think my parents, specifically my mom, played a role in it - she learned when to referee and when to step back and let us go at it. But now that we have a second baby coming I'm wondering what I can do - or if I can do anything. And, if it's different for boys that girls.
Now - please say you know what movie the picture above is from.
If you don't - here's another clue ...
And, though I know the family loves it when Becky and I do a little rendition of the song "sisters" at Christmas each year, I'm pretty sure that's not why we like each other.

But, since you're already singing along to the song (you are, aren't you) here are the lyrics ...

There were never such devoted sisters

Never had to have a chaperone "No, sir"
I'm there to keep my eye on her

Every little thing that we are wearing

When a certain gentleman arrived from Rome
She wore the dress and I stayed home

All kinds of weather
We stick together
The same in the rain or sun
Two diff'rent faces
But in tight places
We think and we act as one

Those who've
Seen us
Know that not a thing could come between us

Many men have tried to split us up but no one can
Lord help the mister
Who comes between me and my sister
And Lord help the sister
Who comes between me and my man


AndreAnna said...

Speaking of sisters, hanks for the well wishes for mine. She's home recovering.

My sister and I are 4 years apart, and have such striking personality similarities that people often mistake us for twins. But, I such such differences, and know that without those, we wouldn't be "friends." We had to share a room growing up and my mother let us work ut most of our issues. We had no choice because we had to sleep in the same room.

We fought like hell but it's part of it.

And your children will too. And hopefully they will be friends too.

Steph said...

Did you see the Mad About You episode years ago where Jamie and Lisa sing that song together for their parents because they used to as children?

Karen MEG said...

Oh, you're so getting me in the mood for Christmas! I love that song. And I love my sister. We're so different on many levels, but so close. We have been friends from day 1. Now that she's a mom too, we can only get closer. At least that's what I hope for.

bubandpie said...

There are probably things that parents can do to wreck a sibling relationship (favouritism most obviously comes to mind) ... but I don't think we really have all that much power. A lot has to do with personality and choice.

In families with three children, there might be a stronger parental role required. My best friend is the middle of three, and the whole time we were growing up (and to this day) there was an unhealthy dynamic of the oldest and youngest banding together against her. There may be things that parents can do to break up that kind of dynamic - but I don't know what they are, exactly.

Redneck Mommy said...

My sister and I are just now becoming friendly with one another...yet I doubt we will ever be friends. I'm 32, she's 29.

I wish I knew the reason for it, but I have to say in my experience it is mainly because of parenting.

My kids (a boy and a girl) are as close as two humans can get.

Mostly because I lock them into small spaces and make them box it out whenever they argue....

KIdding. Wink, wink.

Multi-tasking Mommy said...

What a great post, Laural!

My sister and I are 2 1/2 years apart. When we were younger, we fought quite a bit. As we got older, we became more like friends. When we get together one on one for a sister night out--we have a blast together. However, during family gatherings, etc. I am often reminded how our lives are worlds apart!

You raise a very good question! Is it personality? Parenting? I think it might be a little bit of both! My sister and I are complete opposites, this is what still stands in our way today a little bit.

Kerry J. said...

I love the movie White Christmas!! And Holiday Inn too! You'll have to come over and we'll watch them together - I own them. I always wanted a sister (but got two brothers!). And you and Becky are shoo inns for Rosemary Clooney and the other chick!