Monday, February 6, 2012

On Being a Sister

I am an older sister to two younger brothers and a younger sister. They are all unique, amazing individuals in completely different ways. One is in law school, one is in nursing school, and one is a host of wacky things, including thrift store connoisseur and undergrad communications major, probably in that order. Growing up, our house was loud, chaotic, and often veered wildly between angelic and World War Three. My mom had four kids in seven years, and now that I'm an adult, I'm fairly certain she qualifies for sainthood.

As we got older, my siblings became really cool, popular people. They won high school yearbook superlatives. They developed sweet dance moves. They became retreat leaders, prom queens, marathoners, bartenders, and all-around likable people. As I matured, it was hard to not feel eclipsed by them. I count those humans among the most precious people in the world to me, and my life of working, dating, and reading books often seemed rather vanilla by comparison. I'm constantly in awe of their general awesomeness. I'm constantly challenged by their deep thoughts, and reduced to tears by their offbeat hilarity. As such, it is often hard not to feel like a geeky older sister.

While my sister and I often have deep talks about everything from the existence of God to how one can craft the perfect set of reinbeers for Christmas, my brothers are American males in their 20s, and therefore don't talk about their feelings much. Therefore, the following gchat conversation with P made my day today:

P:listening to ben folds while reading. reminds me of your old "on a bender" cd
a golden oldie

me:Such a good one... I still listen to that mix

P: hells yes
your "practicum tunes" were also very good

Haha amazing memory for my old mixes....I'm super impressed

P:yes after a few car rides i stole them both for an extended period
that was my first experience with that genre and those artists
that genre and those artists
it was pretty exciting
gonna get some groceries

me: So glad I could mold your mind

P: haha you paved the way of much of my thought and experience
i am forever grateful

me: Aww that comment just made my day :) love you little bro

While I'm fairly certain that telling my brother I love him and using an emoticon in a text chat will both insure that he isn't that open about his feelings for awhile, I am in awe of the fact that he was listening during all of those long car rides to and fron The University of Iowa. And I guess what I am most awestruck by is the fact that he was listening at all.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that this conversation gives me hope. Hope that even when I'm not saying anything big, the ones I love are still watching and learning. That even when I mess up and act like a crabby jerk, these same people in my life know from a lifetime of watching me that it's just a blip in the radar. That some of the moments when I've felt farthest separate emotionally from the people I love, I still managed to reach through the barriers and connect anyway. That even if we seem different on the outside, my family and I are just going to get closer and stronger as we grow. Now, it seems, I'm the one listening to him

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