Growing up we weren’t what you would call close. Remember we didn’t grow up in a Christian family, so sibling fighting was considered normal. I am five years younger than my sister, which now I love to rub in, but growing up made me the pesky little brat.
No meaningful conversations comes to mind when I think back over our childhood years. There are more memories of name calling and “rubbing my nose in the dirt.” My sister was strong; she could do one handed pushups and she loved to “rub it in”.
After we moved out and had both asked Jesus to take over piloting our lives, we started to relate more. Our relationship with the Lord and learning through reading the Bible gave us a common ground we had not known growing up.
Wow, I actually liked my sister now and enjoyed sharing what I was learning and bouncing ideas off of her. Yet, the real turning point in our relationship for me was while I was deciding who to have stand up in my wedding. As I discussed with my mom what I was thinking, she challenged me by saying, “Your friends may seem close now, but friends come and go, your sister will always be your sister.”
I still had to think about it for a while, because although I liked my sister, we weren’t super duper close. In the end I honored my mom’s wisdom and asked my sister to be my maid of honor.
That is a decision I have never regretted. As my mom predicted, the other ladies in our wedding have become Christmas card friends, while I have grown much closer to my sister.
Todd and I have adopted my mom’s advice for our family, although we have chosen to introduce it to our children at a much earlier age. From the beginning we have told them that they are each other’s best friends. After all, “other friends come and go, but your siblings will always be there for you.”
Just living life will keep siblings involved in each other’s lives. There will always be family gatherings and there will never be anyone else that understands your history as well as a sibling.
Miles can’t nullify the bond family has. Since 1987 my sister and I have lived far apart. She has lived in Texas, Washington and now North Dakota while I have stayed in Wisconsin or Minnesota. As we grew in appreciation for each other, we prioritized trips to visit. Visits became full of memories the cousins would hold onto until they could see each other again. Still, the visits aren’t frequent, so phone calls keep us updated with each other.
Yes, my sister is coming tomorrow and I am very excited! Even more wonderful though is to see our children experiencing the richness of understanding their siblings are their best friends!! There is no need to go through the sibling fighting years, if appreciation for one another is fostered early.