Love is love is love. Yet, love can be very complicated. Take, for example, the love of a sister. Whether it is your older sister, younger sister, middle sister, step sister, half sister, transgender sister or even a sister from another mister – they all come with pitfalls and challenges along with the devotion and loyalty. I have daughters that are polar opposites. One is 11 and one is 15. They are both in different stages of puberty so we have some interesting interactions.
The younger is a very outgoing, messy, loud, door slamming, out-loud singing, belching in your face, near-genius. The elder is very introverted, ninja-silent, considerate, secret singing, polite give-you-space intellectual. Yes, I was “blessed” with two smart daughters but each have her own very distinct personality with very little similarities.
I could write a blog a day just about their relationship! Yesterday, the younger says to me, “I tell her I love her but she never says I love you back.” I could tell she was hurt by this. I told her that not everyone says I love you out loud and sometimes the language of love is complicated. Not satisfied with my answer she stomped away muttering, “It wouldn’t kill her to say it though.” She is right. When I ask the elder if she loves her sister she looks at me bewildered, “Of course I do. If anyone messed with her I would smash their face.” This is coming from the more passive of the two.
I try to give them opportunities to enjoy each others’ company while accepting their differences and they are not always successful. If there is a silver lining in the COVID quarantine it would be that they have had to spend more time with each other and tolerate their differences more. It also helps that the younger’s interests in books, comics and movies are starting to align with the elder more. Now they have more in common than Pokemon (that the gods).
They are both artistic but their styles are wildly different. The younger paints with abandon and with just a few strokes she creates some really beautiful art. The elder painstakingly sketches her drawings erasing many times and then very carefully colors it in creating impressive pieces but never seeing anything but her “mistakes”. They both seem to finally see each others’ talents, at least. I hear them complimenting each other. “Wow you are really good with eyes I can never get my eyes right” “I totally hide their hands because hands are awkward. Mine end up looking like claws” ” Where did you learn to do x? Show me!”
In academics I would say that the younger has the edge only because her ADHD gives her superpowers and she is able to do devour so much more at a facer pace. She is done with her homework usually by supper time while the elder works well into the night. Granted the elder is taking a high school/college course load but she was always been like that. She must read, re read, check, re check and she does get distracted even though she does not have ADHD. Both ladies are always on the honor roll at each of their schools.
Because they are so different I have tried to encourage them to embrace each other instead of criticizing. To help them, I created this poster to put up in the bathroom they share (and fight over LOL).
Maybe I am just fooling myself, but I am hopeful my gentle proddings will help them have a more open relationship. I know I adore my younger sister and look up to her more than she will ever know. I miss being able to visit her more often and I think my life is richer because she is in it. If my daughters can feel the fraction of the love that we feel for each other, I would be satisfied.