You are Stuck with Me (And I with You)

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A_Abby

Sisters

It seems my whole world has been formed around sisters. I was born into a team of sisters, a triad. I was the littlest link. The youngest. The baby. It was a position I loved but also fought against.

It is hard to be a “France girl” when you are the “third France girl” and mostly good at the things your sisters are good at. All in the band, in the choir, in the plays. We were sisters. We belonged together. Sometimes that belonging felt like a blanket, thrown over my head without even asking me if I was cold. Sometimes it felt like it didn’t fit. Sometimes I resented just how well it fit. Nobody asked me. It just was.

* * *

In elementary school, at Girl Scout day camp, my mom asked us, “What does ‘sister’ mean?”

We were talking about being a sister to every Girl Scout. I raised my hand confidently. “’Sister’ means you don’t get to choose. It means you are stuck with each other.” Well, my five-year-old self wasn’t a liar. Sisterhood does mean you are stuck with me. And I with you.

* * *

I am raising two sisters now. My world is once again shaped by sisters. These two ginger girls are stuck with each other.

Right now, they like it that way.

They ask to wear matching outfits and insist on sleeping, not just in the same room, but in the same bed. If I give one something good, you better believe that one will ask me where is her sister’s something good. They are a team, and the force of the two of them together is something the world will have to reckon with.

But in order for that to happen, they must somehow unstick and instead choose each other.

* * *

I know about that journey too. I know about the journey to choosing a sisterhood. It is messy and hard, It is about identity and understanding. It is about who you are, and who you wish you were. It is about being honest about your faults and your flaws. Sisterhood is about where you came from, but also where you are going.

* * *

One by one the sisters left the tiny ranch style home with the dogwood in the side yard. First the oldest, then the next, until finally it was my turn to leave. I did not go to the closer college with in-state tuition. I did not want to be known first as someone’s little sister.

I needed to just be me.

So I was. So I did. I did my own thing, and banged my own drum, and danced my own dance. And I discovered that I did not want to go without my sisterhood. I wanted to belong.

I was different than just another France girl. I was unique and I had my own thing. But my sisters held my history. They had seen me at my best and most brilliant and they had seen me at my absolute worst. They remembered when I was younger and dumber and sweeter than I am now. They loved me anyway. Even if I never decided I wanted in, I think there would always be a place for me.

Sisterhood means you are stuck—that your belonging is always guaranteed.

Best friends and boyfriends came and went in my life. The forevers that we promised each other did not really pan out. But I can call my sisters even if I haven’t in two weeks and they have to pick up. I am their sister, after all.

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