When I was five, there was this kid who was a real asshole. He used to do things like turn off the lights in the girls bathroom while I was peeing, which was weirdly terrifying for a kindergartner.
One day it got especially bad. We were on the playground before school and he ripped my earring right through my earlobe. It didn’t really hurt, but I think the sight of blood freaked me out. Anyway, I cried a lot. I told my parents that it was an accident, because even at five-years-old I was wise enough to know that parents in the school office would be embarrassing.
But I did tell my older sister the truth. She didn’t say much. The next day, she simply walked up to the guy, dumped her water bottle all over him, and walked away. We never really talked about it again.
Adults have this weird preconception that being a middle child is a bad thing. I get questions about neglect, and strangers always seem overly concerned with how many of my school concerts my parents did or did not attend. I’m not sure if other peoples’ siblings just suck, or if I was blessed with the best type of sisters, but being a middle child is definitely not a bad thing. Actually, being a middle child is one of my favorite parts of me.
I guess I should be more specific. Being a middle sister is one of my favorite parts of me.
This is where I’m going to get all cliché, but to be fair, everything I’m about to write is stunningly true and my sisters deserve all of the mushy details. So bear with me.
I call them crying on Wednesdays at midnight. Sometimes, it’s over important things, like my lack of self-esteem or how I’m scared of being alone. Other times it’s because I can’t figure out how to work my washing machine or because I’m not going to finish One Tree Hill before they remove it from Netflix. Either way, I call them crying on Wednesdays at midnight, and we ignore the fact that they have work Thursday morning while they stay on the phone with me for two hours.
Everything I do, each place I go, and every task I accomplish, I owe to them.
I owe it to the Wawa iced coffee, to Santa Margarita, and to that time they freaked out on me for stealing their clothes. I owe it to the day that I didn’t have gas money and took their car. I owe it to the fact that they were never once jealous when I used to win the science fairs. I owe it to the times I poured my heart out to them, I owe it to the times they poured their hearts out to me, and I owe it to the strength in knowing that no matter where I go or what I do, two incredibly strong human beings have my back.
And let me tell you, they are incredibly strong. They instill in me the best sense of wonder and inspiration. They are totally fucked up and crazy, but it’s mostly necessary. They have shown me that I should never be embarrassed of my original thought, that creativity is a beautiful thing to be admired, and that it’s okay to follow someone’s lead if that someone is constantly going in amazing directions.
Sisterhood is living proof that there actually are people in this world who epitomize loyalty, and it reminds me every day that being the most beautiful person on the outside isn’t what makes someone special.
Instead, it’s the fact that they’ll drive forty-five minutes to pick you up when you’re drunk or trade you their PB&J for your shitty bologna sandwich.
When I am old and wrinkly and probably fat because I’ve given in to my donut obsession, they will probably try to get me off of my couch and bring to me Zumba classes. When that undoubtedly fails, they will deliver me more donuts. Until then, I will be incredibly lucky for my built-in best friends. I will know that I am going to have the best bridesmaids on the planet, even if I have absolutely no idea which poor sucker I’m going to marry. I will wake up each day and live my life in a way that I hope can make them proud. I will praise them for being the type of humans I can only hope to be.
Most of all, I will thank them for allowing me to be their sister. Because of all of the things in this world one can be, being a sister is my favorite.