3 Great Things About Having A Sister

sisters-530My older sister, Marnee, and I fought constantly as children. I was always outgoing and the center of attention, while she preferred to be alone reading science fiction novels. I adamantly believed that she was the “smart one” and I was the “cute one”. It wasn’t until the 3-year long period during high-school when we watched our father slowly die from metastatic lung cancer that our relationship changed and we because the uncommonly close pair that we are today.

1. Competition Motivates

My sister as a child was often not speaking, content to play with any toy or object thrown her way. Conversely, my tendency was to steal any toy given to her, regardless of its actual appeal. I was considered the badly-behaved child and she the angel. More accurately, when I was well-behaved I was very very good, and when I was behaving badly I was very very bad. At home I was the latter, throwing numerous temper tantrums. At school, however, I strived for perfection. My sister is two years my senior and my teachers had all taught her before me, so they’d often call me her name by mistake. Marnee was the brain and I lived under her shadow. Consequently, I competed and tried to win at everything.  I color coded my notes, hounded our parents for our IQ numbers, and compared how many middle-school awards we each received. I won public speaking and poetry contests, gaining a reputation in our family as the writer and the artist.

2. Sisters Teach Each Other

At the ages of 12 and 14 respectively, our father was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. Watching his battle with chemotherapy and his ultimate decline and death caused us to cling to each other and we became extremely close. Once I stopped competing with my sister she started to teach me all the tricks she knew. She sat with me for hours in my ankle-deep mess of a room teaching me how to organize my clothing. She taught me how to skim books and how to prioritize tasks. In return I would do her hair and makeup, and read Kafka to her when she couldn’t bring herself to.

3. Sisters Help You Grow

The funny thing is that in the process of becoming closer we have come to resemble each other. I am now much more introverted and she is more social. While our fundamental personalities remain the same, we have grown together. Our relationship changed from one characterized by competition to one of mutual respect and adoration. I am her biggest fan, and she is mine.

Author: Meredith Klein

Meredith is a lover of smoothies and all things psychological. She regularly contributes articles and also lovingly designed the Mindbody Blender logo and website.

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