This I Believe

Emily - Altoona, Iowa
Entered on February 3, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: family
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Sisterly Bond

Bickering over clothes, arguments about who got to use the computer first, falling outs concerning who tattled, purposely annoying one another, the inability to share hair appliances and makeup, and catty text and instant messages. That’s the way things used to be in my house hold.

Growing up being the middle child was not easy, especially with an older sister. All siblings fight every so often, but my sister and I were so ridiculous that it made me never want to have two daughters. My parents have (jokingly, I think) advised against it too. The two of us could barely be in the same room without criticizing one another; “nice outfit,” “you’re going out with who?”, “have you gained weight?”… Our parents tried their absolute best to make us get along on family vacations and when they risked taking us out in public, so that it did not look as if our family consisted of crazy people, but, they were not always successful. I predict no future family gathering will be complete without stories of our most famous fights and practical jokes. I don’t think either of us purposely set out to hurt one another, I think it was just that we were only three years apart in age and we shared many of the same interests, which made us too much alike. Our Grandmother used to say “familiarity breeds contempt” and my early relationship with my sister proves that saying to be true.

When I was a freshman, my sister was a senior in high school. I had waited forever for that year to finally arrive. She would enter college at the University of Iowa, the house would be peaceful (without all of our fighting), and I would have everything to myself, which I thought would make me a very happy person. When that August came, my parents moved her, and all of her things up to her new home, Slater Hall in Iowa City. I rejoiced at “no more Victoria,” at least until Thanksgiving break, and I’m sure that she felt the same relief. It was great for a while (MY bathroom, MY blow dryer, MY computer), but then I started to miss her. I did not miss our not getting along, I missed having someone around me who had known me all of my life and had seen me at a number of different stages; Someone I could truly trust and depend on.

The lectures we had received from our parents finally hit home. One day, I wrote

her a message explaining to her that they had been right, we were sisters and family should not act the way we had for much of our lives towards one another. Instead, we should be able to talk to each other, respect each other and get along because friends come and go, but family is always there one-hundred percent of the time.

Within a few hours I received a response from her. As it turns out, she felt the same way! That following summer she came home to live while school was out, and we got closer than ever before. Late night talks, going out to eat, and shopping together filled in much of what had been missing from our earlier relationship.

I have become a firm believer in keeping close relationships with siblings. My sister and I went from completely despising each other (or, so we thought), to growing up, maturing and realizing the importance of family. I now consider her one of my closest friends. Next year I will be attending the University of Iowa as well, and I am really looking forward to sharing the college experience with her. This will build our relationship even more, and hopefully give us some better stories for those family gatherings I mentioned than who hit who first or who stole what from whom.