What older sisters should be

My sisters were all older but they didn’t do the things that I’ve become wise to (over the passing decades) that older sisters are supposed to do. They did not teach me how to put on makeup, or how to do dance steps, or tell me anything helpful about boys. They didn’t give me good advice, or show me how to knit, or teach me to read. They did not buffet me from the chaos and drama that infused our household, or model admirable character, or guide me in how to live successfully. It goes on like that.

But here’s the thing. When I’ll being fair and looking at the whole scene, I know nobody did all of that for them either; they could not embody for me what no one had embodied for them. Their strongest influence was our mother. It was up to her to show her older daughters how to lead her younger ones, whether by her own example or by instruction. She did not.

But here’s the bigger thing. My sisters loved me. I never doubted that. Whatever else they lacked, wherever they fell short in my eyes, they loved me. That love was something I hung my hat on for a long time. It was love I returned. It made so much difference. When I look back at the gaps and what my sisters were not, I make sure I remember that too.

Advertisements

12 thoughts on “What older sisters should be

  1. M. Oniker

    I’m glad you still got the connection with your sisters, despite everything. I, too, grew up with sisters, but I was the middle kid. My older sister didn’t teach (plus she was just weird, so it was probably a good thing she didn’t) and I didn’t teach anything to my younger. My parents didn’t teach, didn’t touch, didn’t show affection, and none of us siblings ever were close. My older sister fell into the abusive dysfunction of the parental units, my younger sister and I might have become close after leaving home and college, we were on that trajectory, but sadly, she died. So, on the one hand I completely understand what you are saying, on the other hand, I don’t, and I’m happy for you for some connection.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. writerinsoul Post author

      It really is trickle-down emotional outlay with family – whatever the hell the parents are – or aren’t- doing sets the whole play in motion. How can kids share what they never got? I am sorry your sister died – that is devastating – all the more so when the family unit is defunct to start with . Your words make perfect sense. Thank you. –Colette

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  2. Anne Mehrling

    That was a heart-tugger. You can’t change history, but I like your attitude of remembering the sisterly love that surrounded you. I did’t realize older sisters were supposed to teach you all those things. I didn’t have a sister, only an older brother. Boy! Am I glad he didn’t teach me about makeup!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. writerinsoul Post author

      Thanks Anne. You don’t exactly know what you didn’t get till you get out into the world. Now I see both sides. Okay – older brothers are supposed to protect you and look out for you and teach you things like how to grease your bike chain or drive a stick and make sure you don’t take up with losers (guys who will break your heart etc). I hope yours did some of that!

      Like

      Reply
  3. C.E.Robinson

    Collette, good attitude about your sisters. I really don’t remember my older sister teaching me anything. I do know we were good friends and protected one another growing up. I’d say love was there, and it still is today. The difference, we say more loving, supportive things, and keep in close touch by phone & yearly visits! 💛Christine

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. writerinsoul Post author

      That’s wonderful. The being supportive and expressive with each other. I’d almost say it’s unusual for the older sister not to take the lead and/or “be the boss”. Maybe you were close in age?

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
      1. C.E.Robinson

        16 month apart in age! Sister pretty much was interested in different things. I was all about rescuing stray cats, and caring for injured animals, starting at age 5. Sister was into tea parties & playing the piano! 🎶C

        Liked by 1 person

        Reply
  4. Cristina

    My sister is 7 years older than me and it may as well have been 100 years difference. We were never on the same level (or anywhere near it) and as a result, we were just never that close while growing up. Or even now, for that matter. Yet and still, just as you say, I’ve never doubted the love we have for one another. I always tell people, if she needed a kidney, I’d be the first in line to give her one. And I know she’d do the same for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. writerinsoul Post author

      It’s a strange bond isn’t it? Seven years is a big gap between siblings especially if they aren’t on the same level in other ways. The way you describe it, the kidney, is perfect. I feel protective toward my sisters despite anything else. I don’t want anyone to hurt them; it’s always been true.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

Have something you'd like to say about this?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s