Since I wrote about my roommate for her birthday, I figured why not do the same for my sister’s birthday?
I have one sibling. She and I are 5 1/2 years apart, so as you can imagine, we didn’t always get along. However, now we get along great for the most part. Our relationship still isn’t perfect, but that’s because we’re people. There is always something to improve.
I don’t want to give away all of our stories and inside jokes, but I will tell some and maybe offer some advice of things I’ve learned along the way about getting along with siblings.
Story #1: One time, my sister and I were out driving somewhere. For some reason, I had made my sister mad at me (I’m a younger sibling. It happens). When she gets mad, she just doesn’t talk. So we were sitting in silence in the car, she was driving and I was riding shotgun. There was music playing on the radio, so my sister started drumming on her steering wheel. Well all of a sudden, she hit the horn completely accidentally. However, do to the silence, it made both of us jump. It also made her forget that she was upset with me, and we both started laughing really hard. Fortunately, there weren’t many cars around us, so we didn’t get a nasty look for randomly honking at someone.
Lesson learned #1: Sometimes when you and/or your sibling are mad at each other, it’s better to just let it be water under the bridge. No point in escalating conflict. Forgiveness and acceptance don’t always come immediately, so just give it time
Story #2: With my sister and I being apart from each other often (because of her school, she is usually in Evansville. If not, then I’m away), we have learned to make the most of the time we have together. Last summer, my maternal grandparents and the subsequent two generations (my parents, aunt and uncle, and aunt; my sister, my cousins, and me) all took a week-long trip to Florida. My sister could not stay the whole time because she had school stuff (she’s in medical school, for any of you that don’t know), so she ended up having to leave earlier in the week. She made the most of the time she had with us. I remember being in the airport waiting for our rental car (some complications had arisen), and it was dinner time. The two of us went with my grandparents to go get food. My grandma has been having some health complications, and as a result, hasn’t been eating much. Before we left to go get dinner, our mom pulled us aside and had us make sure Grandma ate. Together, we were able to encourage her to eat most of her food. We were able to combine forces through most of the week, and other times as well.
Lesson learned #2: Siblings working together is one of the strongest relationship bonds. If possible, cooperate with your siblings. This doesn’t mean all the time. You’re people. You won’t get along all the time. But be able to put aside your differences for something bigger than just the two of you.
Story #3: If my sister and I see something the other would want, we usually buy it for each other. A couple months ago, my sister had a huge deal for Hot Topic and extended the offer to me. We both like to shop there for nerdy stuff (Disney, Superheroes, and Harry Potter, for example), but they also have cute stuff I like to buy, (headbands and jewelry). So with this coupon (I think it was $45 off of $90 or something massive like that), we needed quite a bit. So I ended up ordering a Beauty and the Beast makeup bag (I was running out of room in my other makeup bag) and a beautiful map swing dress (with pockets!!!!!). Anyway, so the way it totaled out, I owed my sister $30. I don’t carry a lot of cash on me, so if I was going to pay her, I was going to have to make a withdrawal from my account. Well, I found out that we were going to see Hamilton in Chicago for her birthday, so I came up with an idea. Instead of giving her the $30 cash, she could pick out some Hamilton merchandise around $30, and the debt would be paid. So that’s what we did. She picked out a hat that was from me.
Lesson learned #3: There is more than one way to make a debt up to someone. Get creative. It doesn’t always have to be money. Just find some way to make it up. It’s not fun to be in a sibling’s debt, because you see them frequently so you’ll be reminded of it.
Story #4: So last week, I posted a blog about makeup. A lot of the products I mentioned came from Ulta. I shop there pretty frequently, but my sister does not. When she went in to one a couple days ago, I got a message from her asking, “Are all Ultas this big?”All I responded with was “Yes”. I then asked what she was looking for and gave her a general layout of the store.
Lesson learned #4: It’s good to take an interest into what your sibling enjoys. You don’t have to be an expert. My makeup collection is probably double the size of my sister’s, and that is okay. But she knows I enjoy it, and she trusts my word if I were to give her advice on something.
Story #5: With us being so far apart all the time, it can be hard to celebrate birthdays and holidays. This year, my sister mailed me my birthday present. It arrived four days before my birthday, and she told me very sternly that I was not allowed to open it until my birthday. Like the good sister I am, I waited until my birthday. Inside was some of my favorite candy, a set of 4 Hamilton coasters that my sister made, and a replica of the Chicago Cubs 2016 World Series Ring (specifically, Kris Bryant’s, who is my favorite player). A couple of Christmases ago, I made my sister a three-piece giraffe string art that she still loves.
Lesson learned #5: As siblings, you know each other extremely well. More than anything, you know their likes and dislikes. While that is important in any relationship, it is one of the most important aspects of siblings. Romantic partners have to learn those, but having that bond with a sibling, you can know how to read and understand them in a way that any other relationship doesn’t understand.
Like I said, mine and my sister’s relationship is not perfect. We still fight and get mad at each other. But I can tell you this: our relationship is better than where it used to be. I’m glad to have a sister.
Let me know if you have any thoughts or comments!