1.25.2012

Sisters...


photos of the girls by the amazing kelly christine

I want my girlies to be best friends...with every. fiber. of. my. being.

Based on my belief that the more you pressure a kid to do something you want them to do, the more they *don't* want to do it, I try to be somewhat low-key about this desire. But I usually fail miserably.

Usually I tell them (all passionately, with conviction) that sisters are one of the most special, most sacred relationships. I tell them that sisters should be soul mates, confidants, protectors, conspirators, and yes...best friends. I preach it.

I love my own two sisters immensely. They are amazing, inspiring women (not to mention fantastic mothers). They are also identical twins, so they posses a closeness that I can't even begin to emulate in my relationships with them individually. This might be why I'm so wholly and completely obsessed with the idea of Millie and Audrey forging that super sister bond. (Yes, I realize this is veering into therapy territory, and for that I thank you for saving me $125/hour ;-) I owe you guys.)

When I come across super-close sisters in real-life (like the lovely Molly and Sally) or on the interwebs (Heather and Megan are my gold standard for sister love), I am entranced. I ask endless questions, tucking their experiences away to use as future anecdotes for the girlies. And then I put a little wish out into the universe that my girls will end-up with some of that magic themselves one day.

So I'd love to know...do you have a sister, are you close?

Sisters as design partners -- Annette and Pheope creators of the jewelry line Anndra Neen (via Terms of Endearment)

Sisters as soul mates -- the beautiful + soulful Heather of L.A. in Bloom and her equally beautiful + soulful "sissy" Megan of Poem Sweet Poem

Sisters as style icons -- Lou Doillon and Charlotte Gainsbourg (via Vogue)

41 comments:

Lakshmi Jagad said...

Yes, I have a sister, and she is 2.5 years younger. Growing up, we weren't friends but now that we are in the 30s, we are a lot closer. In some aspects, we are very similar but in some others, we are vastly different from each other.

Why preach anything to your girls? I am sure that as they grow older, they'll discover their relationship anew. It is but natural. Keep it organic... as with every relationship. Or so I think.

Betsy said...

My sister and I are best friends. THISCLOSE. People think we are twins (we are not) but we can't imagine that twins are any closer.

My mom always gave us activity assignments to do together: make up a dance routine (to an entire album); create an art exhibit, set the table for a royal visit; make up songs on the piano - then she (my dad was at work) would be our great audience. We learned teamwork, our own and each other's talents and weaknesses, and we learned that we could have fun doing anything (have YOU ever tried to reenact an episode of The Love Boat with 2 people and NO kissing? It's hard.)

To quote Miss Inch from The Parent Trap: "either you'll find a way to live with each other, or you'll punish yourselves far better than I ever could."

Petya K. Grady said...

My favorite topic! My sister is almost 3 years younger than I am and she fills my heart with love and joy like no other!

There are a lot of books about sisters, too!

Rachel said...

My sister and I are four years apart and we have that fierce love that doesn't necessarily translate to friendship. Maybe we were a little too far apart in age? We would both do anything for each other, but we don't talk on the phone all the time or have hang out dates. But I think relationships do evolve as you get older, so there's that.

Sara said...

I have identical twin sisters, too! I feel the same as you about my relationships with each of them... there's no way I can touch what they have together. It does make me a little sad at times, but I know they don't love me any less than I love them, and that's all that really matters, right?

I am two years older than my sisters; are you older or younger than yours?

briannelee said...

I always wanted a sister but my parents gave me a brother instead. Now I have a lovely sister in law, though, and that is almost as good :)

Joslyn said...

Betsy -- your mother is BRILLIANT. and this made me laugh out loud...

"have YOU ever tried to reenact an episode ofThe Love Boat with 2 people and NO kissing?"

just awesome...!!


Sara -- I'm two years older than my twin sisters too!

Aimee @ Smiling Mama said...

My sister is 5 year younger than me. When we were younger, we fought like crazy. I was so mean to her. But then she went to college and I ended up working at the same college and then we got to be great friends. So, don't lose hope!

Mary said...

I don't think there's much you can do to force them to be best friends. It is natural, and as with all relationships, it will go through phases. I have two boys, and I want them to be close as well. I think all I can do is constantly remind them that they are brothers, that they should always be there for each other.

I have two sisters (more actually, but my family is complicated...let's just say I have two). One is 5 years older, and although we weren't close growing up due to the age difference, we got to know each other better during college, and more after college, and through the years we got closer and closer...now she is one of my best friends in the world. My other sister is 2 1/2 years younger. We were close growing up, played together, etc. In high school our social circles crossed at times, but we didn't confide in each other then, and sisterly rivalry was there for sure. We went through periods of closeness and periods of not talking, but always always always we knew the other one was there when we needed her. And now...she is one of my best friends in the world. My two sisters are the first people I call with news. The ones I would want to celebrate with me, cry with me....

Sorry for ranting...my long-winded point is that even if they go through phases where they aren't especially close, they are sisters, and that is a special bond that only gets stronger as the years go on.

Heather Taylor said...

Oh, this has made my day! Such a beautiful post and I know that *sissy* and I are honored to be included. Of course you can't force the issue, but I have a feeling your wish will be granted. xo

Jessica said...

My sister and I have a special bond now, but when we were younger we hated each other. I highly recommend letting them develop and define their relationship when you can, not pushing anything on them. That was one of the reasons my sister and I didn't get along when we were younger.

nicole said...

My sister and I are *super* close. We are 13 months apart; she's the baby. Growing up, especially in our teenage years, we would have knock-down, drag-out fights over the silliest things, but, now, at 28 and 27, we are best friends and confidantes. Sisters are the best; your girls will realize this on their own someday. xo.

Molly said...

Thank you so much for the shout out :) Definitely made my day...

This is so touching to read! I think sometimes Sally and I really take it for granted how incredibly close we are... I have to say that even though we were "close" growing up, our true, deep friendship did not start until Sally went to college. I think we both realizied when she moved to Texas that the bond and unconditional love we shared for eachother is no match for any other type of frienship. I guess you could say the rest is history... We now live together in a very cute (and very clean) apartment in Dallas and words cannot describe how much we rely on eachother - for laughing at the same jokes that no one else gets, for venting after a hard day when no one else will listen, for swaping clothes and nail polish, for knowing what to say when we are both sad... Is it bad that I never want to her to get married becuause I love living with her so much?

I'm sure your girlies will be the best of friends - sometimes it takes the wisdom of age to understand the true love of sisters but having a mama like you to remind them to charish eachother is bound to help!

xx
.Molly
apieceoftoastblog.com

mes bijoux said...

I have four sisters and although I love all of them I'm much closer with my following sister, 3 years younger. And when we were child, we weren't so friends but when we brought up, we became real friends and I can tell you for usre that is one of my beloved person in the world. By the way, the other day I found a post about a man that explained his love for his sister. Very touching! you can check at http://elsastredelisboa.blogspot.com/2012/01/carne-de-mi-carne-sangre-de-mi-sangre_1024.html
kisses from Barcelona!

designgirl said...

My sister is my best friend. Has been as long as I can remember (we are now in our early forties)
I think back to sharing a room as kids, and I think that is one of our best bonds. As teenagers, we had a hall between us, but as kids we were always the last conversation at night. Very special.

Tom & Beck said...

Enter sad face comment , but sometimes it just doesn't work out that yay, but I think stick your nose in as much as possible, (that live boat comment made my heart skip, so sweet) I wish for that with my sister, I really think she does two, we're 3.5 years apart, and we couldn't be more different, I don't have alot of memories that involve the two of us together growing up, so I think it's great your helping your girlies create them, I know two sets of sisters who share this bond and it seems amazing!

Meghan @ The Rambling Sister said...

Great post! I am an identical twin sister and I have no words to describe the bond between my sister and myself. It is physically painful to be seperated from her. Im also pretty confident that if one of us decides to get married, we will struggle with sharing our attention and time (poor guy). However, it wasn't always like this. We even went thru a period of not speaking to one another. I think Betsy's idea is fantastic. Nothing wrong with giving them a nudge in the direction of besties.

Megan Taylor said...

Dearest Joslyn,

You have made my day! My heart is warmed and full from this beautiful post. I think your girlies have a lifetime of love, sissy-hood, and friendship ahead of them.

As lucky as they are to have each other, they are just as lucky to have you! You're such a wonderful Mother. Even though we've never even met, I can tell from your blog that the three of you have a very special bond.

Oh, I'm still swooning from this post! I hope this feeling never goes away.

xoxoMegan("sissy")

Sarah's Fab Day said...

As a child I was so close to my brother. We had no one else to play with so it was he and I. We're almost 2 years apart and he is in almost every childhood memory, in a good way. I have two boys and I do the exact same thing. I try and teach them be kind and respectful of each other even though it's hard at times because at the end of the day they always have each other. So far so good. When I volunteer at school I watch them from a far and notice that they are always aware of where the other one is. They aren't playing together but just the knowledge that someone has their back allows them to always feel comforted and I'll take that any day.

The Wizzle said...

I have a sister, two years younger. We weren't until we were both adults, but now we are best friends. <3

Lisa Fyfe said...

I have a sister 9 years younger than me. We are really not that close. So I am obsessed with sister closeness. I am fascinated by siblings who are best friends and wished that for myself with every fiber of my being. If I have a second child, I will most likely be obsessed with hoping that they are close.

the lil bee said...

I have a sister and I have two daughters so I absolutely LOVED this post. My sister understands me in a way that is different than anyone else in this world. When I see Devon reach over and grab Blake's little hand, or watch Blake crack up at Devon's antics, it is the best BEST feeling in the whole world!

p.s. I may be quoting you tomorrow. Not on sisters. On something you said at Alt that left me in stitches. Stay tuned... ;)

Camille said...

A child psychologist I know once told me that with children, words come first and the feeling follows. So telling your girls these things may not backfire at all!

I have identical twin girls -- they are my only children and I hope that they will grow up with that sisterly bond of which you speak.

Karina @ clusterart said...

There is no other topic that I love more than that of sisters. My sister is my best friend. We look alike, sound alike and everyone who knows us knows how much we love each other and always says, "oh the sisters".

Before I had children I had one wish, to have girls. Sisters anew. My wish came true. My girls are young, 2 & 5, and I too am always touting the greatness of sisters. This mantra is often forgotten in moments of tears and sisterly drama, but last night I came home to find them snuggled together, asleep in the crib. My heart absolutely melts in these moments of sisterly love.

Jo Harper said...

There's a five year gap between me and my younger sister. When we were little, this was a really challenging gap to bridge. My mom never bothered with subtleties. She reminded us everyday that we were to be each others first priority: friends were never to take the place of each other. Some days, I found these lectures really annoying. Now that I'm grown up, I realize that I always knew my mom was right. I'm glad she helped keep my priorities in order when I was a kid. It would be a sad world for me without Leslie.

http://thephilosopherscupcake.blogspot.com

apieceoftoastblog said...

Joslyn-
You are so sweet to mention us in this post!
My biggest advice for your girls - have them share a bedroom! For most of our lives and up until I left for college, we shared a bedroom with two twin beds. I don't know about Molly, but I l.o.v.e.d. it. Even in high school we had a total routine where we would come home, make big bowls of ice cream, and watch dirty dancing in our bedroom together. I still sleep better in a twin bed than I do in a queen. When we go home to visit our family we always end up sharing a bedroom with our younger sisters in twin beds and it brings all of the childhood memories right back!

There is nothing quite like laying in bed and late night talking with your sister:)

See you soon!

xo

Sally

apieceoftoastblog

Heather said...

I have a sister who is 2.5 years older than I am, and our relationship has been one with many peaks and valleys. We've never been extremely close - not even when we were children, and for a while we were estranged from one another, but are on much better terms now and in contact on a regular basis. We want to raise our babies together and my husband and I are planning to move to the same city. I admit I'm somewhat envious of all of these sisters who have been best friends their whole lives.

(Just came across your blog via The Lil Bee and it's lovely!)

danielle said...

I have an identical twin sister-she actually introduced me to your blog. To say we're close is an understatement. I love her with every ounce of my being and absolutely cannot imagine my life without her. She is my best friend, my soul mate, my therapist and more. We've been through hell and back together and have grown closer with each year of our lives. We just lost our dad unexpectedly and there are days that she's the only thing that makes me want to get out of bed. We're turning 30 next month and we're excited for our future and we're thankful every second of every day that we have each other.

AggieGirl said...

I have one sister who is almost three years younger, and we are very, very close. People often mistake us for twins, and I love it when they ask who is older. LOVE IT! We are different but oh so similar, too. We can practically read each others minds (freaks out our husbands), and sometimes we show up wearing almost identical outfits without any pre-planning. We lived on a farm until I was 12, so most days she was my only playmate aside from time at school. I like to think that we'd have been best friends anyway.

cheryl.andrey said...

I'm an only child. Recently I've been thinking a lot about this same topic, the bond that siblings have. It's something that I wish I had especially because my mom and I don't have the best of relationships. I feel like I might have been less socially awkward, or better at having relationships with others if I had a sibling. Mostly I wish I had someone who I could connect with on that level who isn't my husband (also an only child). Someone who went through the same experiences as I did. Someone who will be on the same page as me as my parents grow older. But at the same time, I know that I wouldn't be who I am today if I hadn't been an only child.

Maybe the grass is always greener...maybe it's not.

katherine e batchelder said...

i so. so. wish i had a sister. i love the idea of having someone to be so close and cozy with since childhood. that said, i am beyond grateful for my "sisters of choice" - friends and cousin who are as close as i imagine a sister would be.

kalanicut said...

Sisters are a wonderful but not uncomplicated gift in life. I agree sisters should be each others fiercest defender & protector and gentlest & kindest friend -- The first person to drop everything and run to your aid when things go badly.

No one can comfort me like a sister. No one can tell me the truth like a sister. No one can therapy me like a sister. I think it's great that you are encouraging your girls to be there for each other. Friends come & go but family is forever.

michele said...

oh joslyn, i love this post. i could ramble on forever. my best friend just happens to be my sister, and though i didn't like her hovering around me when we were kids, i never tire of it now. we don't quarrel. i can't explain this even though i'm an analytic type. we rarely disagree. i don't have this sort of connection with another soul on the earth. my life is RICH because of this woman.

michele

la la Lovely said...

I have sister. We are 5 years apart. Growing up it seemed like a century between us. It wasn't just age but also personality that were factors in our non-closeness. But suddenly a switch went off. I'm not sure exactly when or even how but in some magic sister kind of way we were together. We are as different as night and day and yet somehow someway we are very much the same. I have this beautiful gift in knowing that someone knows me almost as well as myself and "gets" me even better than I do, on most days. Sisters are definitely soul mates.

If I think about it, too much, my heart gets a little sick that Ella doesn't have a sister. I wanted that so badly for her. I really want her to know and have that sister bond.

And as for preaching, I think this is one of those things that is ok to to keep coming back to. You're girls are beyond lucky to have each other and to have such a fab mom that shows them the value in the truly important things!

XO
trina

Chelsea said...

The two people I am most myself around are my soon to be husband and MY SISTER. That girl...we are four years apart, so obviously I thought she was so annoying when we were younger, but the older we get the more we cherish each other. I think the biggest obstacle that stood in our way was the competitive nature that exists in our family. Competing for parents attention, approval, going to a better school, being prettier. We were so competitive. After our parents divorced and I left for college we just started getting closer. No one can calm be down or talk through something like she can. Thank you for this post. It reminds me to thank my sister for being the little lovely woman she is.

Sarah said...

My best friends growing up, who were and are practically my sisters, are identical twins. I really understand being on the outside of that twin relationship. I know what you mean about therapy! I could probably use some too! I'm sure your adorable girls will have just the relationship they are meant to, but I fully understand the burning desire for them to be really close. As parents, we have so much less control than we want, right?

melissanearandfar said...

My younger sister and I are 18 months apart. There are about 10 missing years from our friendship when we were absorbed in our own friend groups and first boyfriends, but we reunited at some point and my life couldn't be better. I certainly didn't feel that way when I was 12 and we still had to share a room, but twenty years later, I am my sister's BIGGEST FAN.

Kate said...

When my mom was pregnant with my brother, the doctors told her that he was a girl, so everyone assumed he was female and planned for such. But then of course he was not, and when I visited my mom at the hospital (I was four) my mom put him in my arms and I famously yelled, "I THOUGHT I WAS GETTING A SISTER!!" We hated each other with passion from then on out, which I so regret. What was our deal? We're closer now, but so different that it's hard. I've always wanted a sister but all the sisters in my family do. not. get. along. So, that would suck for me as well.

yaya girl said...

yes, my sissy is my best friend. she's 3 years older. my mom didn't encourage us to be besties. but we ended up that way. she was always so good to me. i now have 2 boys and want with all my being for them to be best friends, so i will not let them ever be mean to each other, if there is ever a problem, which is rare, i make them be good to each other before i let it go, and they always end up giggling. now they are 14 and 7 and adore each other. i encourage friends, but on vacations and days home, i let them play together and so far they pick each other every time as play mates. i love how they get along and how they care for each other. i pray they live by each other when they are older and suport each other and be best friends for life. i don't know what i'd do without my sister! i love how everyone laughs at us and with us and wants to be with us when we are together. i love most when my boys are laughing together and making memories that make them each others biggest advocate and best memory :)

Unknown said...

I have to say that my sis and I have not always been the best of friends - I was a bratty older sister - but once we entered adulthood, our relationship has become one of the easiest friendships I have. And, it's the one I value most with every bit of my heart.

Hard times between sisters are natural(growing pains can be rough), but know that because you're a great example to them with your sisters they will come around in the end!

Mrsrt3 said...

Sisters-what a great post-I have 2 daughters (no sisters) and 26 years ago when I divorced I wanted them to know that the 2 of them should be very close because they will always have each other but maybe not me or their dad. I believe that they are close and I always pray that they will stay this way for all of their lives...