My sister and I were born five years apart. Which is a bloody long time when you’re little.
If you’re going to have kids to be friends when they are growing up, have them close together I say! (Rest assured we are making up for lost time now.)
She was always so much more grown up than me. Five years seemed like an eternity for me to wait for things until “when you’re as old as your sister you can (insert cool thing here…) AN ETERNITY, I swear I waited.
I was so jealous of the many cool things she got to do before me. Choosing her own clothes, going to school formals, camps, going to the mall unaccompanied (a BIG DEAL in the 90’s), and going to parties with boyfriends. She was also naturally good at everything she put her mind to. Netball, gymnastics, swimming, you name it. My parents were driving everywhere on weekends to watch her play in various sports, sometimes at state-level. I plodded along behind her, trying all her things and never being good at much. I was gumby at gymnastics. I twisted my ankle in netball. I was the 12th man on the cricket team. I couldn’t run to the corner shop or beyond, until the age of 25. (More about that here.)
Five years is a very big difference when you’re growing up. I was the annoying little sister. I fully admit that. My nephew asked me the other day, “did you and mummy play when you were little?”. “No” I replied. “I was a bit like Ivy”, (reference to his annoying little sister.)“Oh”, he says, his eyes widening in full understanding. We didn’t play, or even get along very much. There were fights over ice-cream scoops and jealousy over who got what, hair pulling, and all sorts. To me, she got to do everything first. But to her, I got the rules bent too much, being second time around and all.
One day, we found ourself together at a festival, separately. I was 22 and she was 27. Finally, we were on the same page in life. We had been through university. She had been travelling. We were on very different career paths. We were in different places in life but stood together finally as equals. And suddenly, we realised that we were not in competition anymore. We were the same. Since that day, I have had her by my side, to navigate the small and big things in this life as we journey to mid-adulthood. Navigating relationships, weddings, sharing our lives with ginger men, work stuff, body goals, travel dreams and looking after our parents as they age. She has given me a beautiful nephew and niece and I have watched her turn into the most amazing mum.
We are the same but so very different.
I could not navigate this messy life without her by my side.
What’s your relationships with your brother or sister?
Do you have feuding children? I hope this post evokes some hope!
Love you M, bring on Vietnam!
XXX Ashleigh XXX