Monday 24 May 2010


There are several things that make me instantaneously delighted. One is the dawn of summer and all that it brings – amazing weather (hopefully), watching copious amounts of grand slam tennis, walking out of the house without 18 layers on, and the overall spirit that winter is officially over – for the time being. The other thing that far surpasses my love for summer is spending time with my sisters. At the moment I am in the midst of experiencing both summer & sisterhood, so I am pretty much humming with contentment.

I have four sisters, and there is not a day that goes by that I am not thankful for each and every one of them. I loved growing up in a big family and as far as families go, I consider us incredibly close. For me, growing up in a family of our size, the positives always outweighed the negatives. It was certainly never boring or dull (and I fear dull) not to mention, having us all so close in age, meant you had many partners in crime to share in a multitude of hysterical experiences. I shared a room with one of my sisters – she’s 13 months older than me - for 15 years. And it was if I had a best friend by my side my entire childhood. We pretty much functioned as twins, which for many was difficult as the bond was hard to infiltrate. She’d talk for me – which is utterly ironic as I am the more vocal now and she is much more reserved – I’d challenge those on the playground who dared make fun of her glasses (I had a lot of balls even back then), and we’d live in our own little world where I knew (and still do) what she was thinking at any given time.

Admittedly, everything else seems to slip away when I’m with my sisters. It’s not a conscious thing, it’s just that we were lumped together for so many years that now it’s just too easy to regress back into it. When we were little, and did a lot of traveling there was a lot of self-entertaining one had to do. We’d have contests in the hotel rooms from who could lay down in a freezing bold bathtub the longest, raid the hotel maid’s closet and pilfer soaps and washcloths (okay, so in the eyes of some this is theft, but we figured we ordered enough room service to employ a small country), put on talent shows, and of course torture my little sister (by most standards we were tame in this regard; go on ask her!).

Don’t get me wrong, our family is not perfect, we fight like any other family and have our fair share of drama and raging hormones that can make us irrational and dramatic. Keep in mind, there are six women (including my mother) in the mix and none of us are wallflowers, so we are not for the faint hearted. But through thick and thin, we all have one another’s backs and that is something to covet in this world. When we are altogether now it is quite the mad congregation of energy, some people enter it, sit back and watch in utter amusement as the banter flies back and forth like rapid fire. And then again, I suppose some turn around and run like hell. I’m sure my father felt this at many times in his life.

At the moment I am with two of my sisters and their children – I suppose we represent the European contingency of the family. What’s funny is after about five minutes we slip into our very familiar shorthand that I’m sure most find frustrating. Not to mention we find a lot of the same things interesting, funny, etc and end up like some mobile summer camp that moves from location to location, usually laughing hysterically about something. We are also very good at hunkering down like Bedouins – especially in my older sister’s house, we deem her ‘mother hen’ - and for outsiders, I’m sure it’s pretty hysterical to watch. I usually suggest to my partner, it’s join in, do your own thing, or skip the whole event altogether. And for this I never blame him.

We all have very different personalities, but somehow they all gel together in a way that works – for the most part! And of course when it doesn’t, there are four different sounding boards to turn to and run interference between opposing parties. It is a pretty amazing thing to be able to call one’s sisters your best friends. I’ve laughed harder with them than anyone, and simultaneously probably cried the hardest in front of them, [or yes, sometimes, because of them]. But warts and all, I know how lucky I am to have them. I think the key in life is to not only count your blessings, but to be able to recognize them. So here’s to you sisters!
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