Overcoming Sibling Rivalry
My Sisters are My Best Friends
Published: Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, October 31, 2012 15:10
Laughter punctuated the air as I cuddled up to a fuzzy tan blanket and promised to stay on my side of the bed. It was Friday night and I had the luxury of having a sleep over in my little baby sister’s first ever apartment in Grand Forks. I say baby, although she is bidding adieu to her teen years and ushering in her twenties. She is almost twenty and this is weird for me, because a part of me will always remember holding her in my arms, putting bows in her defiant little cowlicks of hair, and dancing with her in the basement to “Lion King” cassette tapes with wild “Lion King” costumes.
There is no doubt that siblings shape us and make us who we are, although the scientific validity of how much birth order really influences our personality is heavily disputed. I admittedly display classic traits of being the oldest as my sisters always called me “mini mom” growing up. My middle sister, who is sixteen months older, went through a rebellious middle child streak. Yet, I do not think we can be pegged into neat little boxes depending on our birth order. Birth order does not create any certainties.
What is certain is how lucky I am to have built-in best friends in my two younger sisters. Tara is sixteen months younger than I and Kelsey is five years and 361 days younger than I. Perhaps it took growing pains, being in different zip codes, and a healthy dose of sibling rivalry to appreciate how grateful I truly am to have them.
Most likely due to our closeness in age and proximity as we shared a room, my middle sister and I had our fair share of clashes growing up. I do not remember many specifics, except that it was typical kid stuff that began with fighting over toys and vying for attention, and ended in a culmination of tears, time outs and slammed doors. The times we fought were by far overshadowed by bonding over neighborhood shenanigans, over sharing a sled, a bed, matching scrapes on our knees and footie pajamas. Since she was a little girl; she has always displayed a fierce loyalty, independence and sense of humor.
And then there were three. We were delighted to have a third sister, a new playmate, and basically a human doll for us to dress up, pinch, cuddle and parade around the neighborhood. Our family became complete then with she who we affectionately christened “Sheba.” Much to her dismay, we still call her Sheba and she still bears the brunt of our teasing and cuddling. Our Sheba is indeed the “pocket of sunshine” of our family because she always points out the positive in everything and everyone. She is the kind of person that simply lifts a room with her presence.
It is difficult, almost impossible to convey how much my sisters mean to me in this short little Spectrum column. I wanted to try though, for gratitude and the sake of how much Tara and Kelsey enrich my life. They have been by my side throughout everything from consoling me through many heartbreaks and standing tenderly by my bedside in the hospital when I was sick to making me laugh so hard soda comes out my noise. My sisters are my best friends and that’s the end.
Tessa is a senior majoring in English.