I grew up with brothers, and I loved it. I have often commented that I was not the stereotypical middle child because I was the girl, so I always felt I had a distinguished “place” in our family. While my brothers would likely say it was my place to be a bossy, goody-two-shoes, I would say my role was to keep us organized, remember birthdays, and be well-behaved (at least in public). I never felt I was missing out because I didn’t have a sister, rather I felt like I had some sort of leverage because I knew what boys were really like. I knew they liked watching Cinderella and Full House as much as Duck Tales and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I knew they could be great listeners, cooks, laugh, cry, do cruel things and be my heroes, all in the same hour. And I knew their feet smelled really, really bad.
Despite the inside scoop, I believe growing up with boys has actually enabled me to have unique, more sister-like relationships with the women in my life. Yes, I have two moms who certainly shaped my view of how important and powerful relationships with women can be, but it’s more than that. It’s almost as if not having sisters gave me an appreciation for anything that resembled that same bond through friendship. Some of my closest friends to this day are those same girls I met when I was five, ten, thirteen, even twenty-three years old, who showed me the true understanding, loyalty and unconditional love that sisters share. Yes, my brothers are loyal and love me unconditionally, but there are some things they just will never get. And maybe, the fact that I don’t have blood-born sisters has made me hold on to and foster those female relationships over the years, more so than someone who does have a sister from the same mister.
Whatever the reason, I am thankful for all of my sisters. I’m thankful for those summer days together playing capture the flag and going to the beach. I’m thankful for the road trips spent singing Broadway show tunes and playing MASH. I’m thankful for my only true ally at a high school party. I’m thankful for your patience when I screwed-up and for the opportunity to stand beside you on your wedding day. I’m thankful for being known as Aunnie or Auntie or Emmie to your children. I am thankful for every laugh, every cry, every moment, then and now. I am thankful for having been born the only girl, so that I could find you.
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