Sunday, October 26, 2008

Don't read this post Mom*


Ok, I realize that's only going to make her want to read it more, but it's worth a shot.

And for the rest of you, a warning:

--you are about to join a HUGE pity party, enter at your own risk--




Alrighty, now I can start without any guilt. I am an only girl, I have three wonderful brothers that I always wished I could trade for sisters when I was a kid. Although I think what I really wanted was to add a sister without sacrificing any of my brothers even though there were times...

Anyway, I distinctly remember the day my little brother was born and how TOTALLY disappointed I was that he wasn't a girl (give me a break, I was only 4). I thought it was a given that he would be a girl, we had already had two boys--it was the girls' turn now. It just didn't compute. So I spent my childhood playing catch-up and trying to fit in, for example I was irritated that I was the only one that had to wear a shirt (still 4, relax). Now, I'll spare you the nitty gritty details of all the days I had to put up with watching sports, reading about sports, playing sports, talking about sports; not being able to share clothes, bedrooms, friends; not being able to talk about bras, periods, or breasts; being made fun of constantly, being labeled as the "sensitive one" because I was the only one in the house that cried (unless a beloved sports team lost), and being extremely naive because I didn't have an older sis to tell me all about boys.

Now don't get me wrong, my Mom was able to fill in for most of that and because of it we are really close--which is great--but there was always an overtone of "momness" that just comes with the territory.

When I became an adult, I started to get over it. I loved my brothers so much more and appreciated them so much more than I did as a kid, and I was finally ok with not having sisters. Until recently. All I can see these days are sisters. I go to a family reunion to see my cousins, and they are laughing with their sisters and talking about girl stuff and (possibly) how crazy their family is and more than likely they are reminiscing about some wacky childhood adventure that revolved around them (again, possibly) fighting over a boy or stealing each other's clothes, and sure, they say hi to me and we talk, but then they go right back to their sisters. I listen as my friends tell me all about trips to go visit their sisters and I mentally note that I could never visit a brother on my own, that would be weird. Also, it's not like we could sleep in the same room and eat popcorn and giggle while watching "Oklahoma" even if it wouldn't be weird visiting all by myself. My Mom is actually about to go on a trip with her sisters to a quilt show. I could never do that with my brothers.

I don't want to take anything away from my Sisters-in-law, because I love them dearly, and they are the closest things to sisters that I have besides my Mom, but I will always take a backseat to their sisters and there isn't that we-share-DNA-and-have-known-each-other-since-birth-and-have- shared-deodorant type of bond that real sisters have, and I miss that. The thing about it too, is that no amount of proactivity is going to change my status. I can't hard-work myself a sister that I've had for life.

And then I think about my daughter. Oh that I could give her a sister like I never had, but we've all but decided that we are finished having kids. I tell ya though, if I had a window into the future and could guarantee having a girl theverynextpregnancy I would sacrifice all of that for a sister for my daughter tomorrow (well, maybe not tomorrow, but you get the idea).

So next time you talk to or see your sister, think of me and smile because you are so lucky to have her.

And for heaven's sake, if you see me at a family reunion, please take pity on me and let me sit by you and your sisters because I am so tired of talking about sports and politics (I can say this because I know none of my brothers read my blog--except for you Adam), and I would just love for a moment to pretend that I am your sister too.

*I'd rather my Mom didn't read this because she always felt bad for me not having a sister, and I don't want to make her sad-- plus I always reassured her that I was fine and didn't miss having sisters *sigh* sorry Mom.

22 comments:

Melanie said...

Ali, I too was disappointed when my youngest brother was born and I was 9! In fact, I was so distraught I got to name him because somehow that would help. I always thought to myself that I would have sisters when I had sister-in-laws and then I realized that even though I love you all it just will never be the same as having a sister. It just can't be. I will never know that sister bond. It is something I mourn probably at least once a year (and actually this morning being one of those times). So not to worry, at family parties I will sit by you and we can talk about none sport things.

Shanna said...

Aww, you can be my sister! I bet we even share a bunch of DNA!! :) Wouldn't that be awesome to take a trip with you and me? And we could talk about huge spiders and eyebrows and crazy family memories. :) Ok, now I really want you to come visit me. We have plenty of space.... please?.... Wouldn't that be fun?

Ok, I will stop begging now....

But you really did hit on the one guilt I have about stopping with 3 kids. I would LOVE for Abigail to have a sister. If I could guarantee it, I might as well. I've even thought about international adoption for that very reason, but I know it isn't right for now. Maybe one day. But I think we are done as well. Oh, such hard things. When she tells me she is sad that she doesn't have anyone to sleep in her room like the boys do, it almost just breaks my heart right in half.

There you go- a long, rambly, disjointed post. (please come visit, now that I have the idea, I won't be able to let it go!)

ali said...

Shanna, I would LOVE to come visit!!! I'll have to put something in the works... We can watch old reruns of The Love Boat and forget that sports and politicians even exist. And we can get together with your sisters and paint our toes and quilt. Ah, that makes my day just thinking about it!

ali said...

(not that girls can't be interested in Sports or Politicians, it's just that that's all I've been talking about with my brothers lately)

Kara said...

When I was 4 I wanted my younger sibling to be a boy. And then Bri was born. Oh well, it all works out for the best!

ali said...

I bet Brett did too!

Adam said...

Wow, Ali, I never knew you felt this way. I just always assumed you and Andy had that "sister-sister" relationship.

If it makes you feel any better, I've always wished I had some older brothers. I mean, I have Andy and Aaron, but I'm talking about some really cool older brothers.

ali said...

it's kinda fun knowing that we can say whatever we want about Aaron and Andy, knowing that they will NEVER READ MY BLOG, isn't it?

jill said...

Ali! I TOTALLY understand. I have always looked at sisters with longing. Like it is a private club that I can never join. When Kevin was born (love you Kev!)-Mom called from the hospital and was careful to break the news to me gently about having a new brother rather than sister. I was so sad I asked her to take him back and get a girl (wasn't aware of the process at that time). I feel you completely. I totally get being labled the "sensitive" or "emotional" one. Which can easily happen if you refuse to hawk a loogie on request-or choose not to participate in the "Hallstrom Olympics" (which could have easily landed someone in the hospital). Oh and my favorite thing about being the only girl was sitting around the table at my birthday and in response to my Mom asking my brothers to take turns mentioning thier favorite thing about me, getting replies like "I love Jill cause she's my favorite sister". I was always jealous and amazed at how sisters could be connected and share eachothers toiletries and be there for eachother as their babies are born. Having said that, I think it would be harder had I not been able to have the girlfreinds and family in my life that I do. I think that there are times where there is love and closeness that crosses beyond a lack of shared genetics. And I guess even though you sisters out there may disagree-I will have to be happy in my ignorance. Anyway-I got your back on this one Ali!

Chocolates for Breakfast said...

Well, I guarantee that your Mom already read this...but it wasn't her fault...it was your Dad's fault you didn't have a sister!!! Okay, I'm not exactly in the same boat, I had a sister. However, as you know she left this life earlier than expected and it really stinks not having her around for all the same reasons you mentioned. So, all of you that have sisters...treasure them to the fullest!

Andy and Jessica said...

Ali,
First of all I just have to say that I am so sick of all the political and sports talk that have come with this fall season. I can not wait until the election is over, and football season is over. So I can have my husband back :-)
Second, I do have a sister (as you know) but she is 10 years younger then me. It is fun to have a sister, however we are on such different levels, that I feel more like a second mom to her. The ironic part is that just when she started dated and liking the things that I like, we move away for a 10 year solitude into the Medwest. I am looking forward to one day seeing her have a family and being able to talk to her about mom stuff.
Third, on a different level, I am the only girl in our family. I try to get into the boy stuff, to support Andy and the boys. But really sometimes it is very hard. I want to go off and do girl stuff. I pray that someday I will have just one girl to hang out with and do girly things them.
So really Ali, you are lucky. You have your mom and Gretta to go and do girly things with.

ali said...

I know Jess, you are a trooper--I honestly don't know how you do it sometimes ;) I'm praying that you get at least one girl too--they are so much fun!

Britney said...

CAN I JUST COPY AND PASTE THIS INTO MY BLOG?????? I FEEL THE EXACT SAME WAY (except we will have more kids) I cried my eyes out when my youngest brother was born. I thought for sure he would be the sister I'd always dreamed of!

And I PRAY that I have another girl...for Ava!

Everything you said about your friends/cousins/sister in laws...I feel the same. All my friends and sister-in-laws...have SISTERS! I WANT a freaking sister too! But your right, the thing that sucks the most is...it will never be.

So with that said. I will be your sister :)

ali said...

Aww, thanks Brit! I just wish we lived closer!!

too many only girls out there....

ali said...

for the record, I've never actually seen "Oklahoma," so I don't know if it is anything to laugh at, it just seemed like a girly thing to watch old cheesy musicals and giggle...

Juli said...

I feel this bizarre need to apologize for having a sister. We are really close now, but growing up (she's 6 years yonger than I am) we weren't close at all. I was bossy. She was annoying. We didn't share clothes, boys, toiletries, interests, or even a room. I don't think it ever occurred to me that we should have been closer--I do remember wishing I had an older brother, though.
Anywho, I am very thankful for my sister now that we're adults. Neither of us are close to my Mom by any stretch of the imagination, so it is nice to have that female family bond with each other. And, while you may not believe me, I can honestly say that I love my sister-in-laws just as fiercely as I love my sister. Plus, in some ways I feel closer to you guys--might have something to do with sharing common beliefs and being in the same stage of life. It frustrates me that most of you guys live so far away. If Melanie ever moves I'll pitch a fit.

Okay, enough of that. I guess everyone has their own grass-is-always-greener thoughts on their families.

But, for future reference, you're welcome to use my deodorant any time you want--it's Secret Platinum, Asian Pear scent.

Mom said...

OK - The blog-reader-never-commenter (much - probably only 3X ever) wants to share. I grew up having a sister above me and a sister below - oh how I continually wished I had a cool older brother. I did really lived a close "sister life" and still do. I love them dearly. But my sister-in-laws are such special treasures in my life. They didn't come with a owners manuals and getting to know and them has taken time. But time has brought such bonds and joy. I love my sisters yes, but where would I be without my sister-in-laws? Besides we'll being seeing each other for eternity and that just thrills me sparkly.

Adam and Lisa said...

Ali, I think Russell shares your frustration, only with never having a brother. Hence, I was raised on legos, micro machines (remember those) and reenacting karate kid. Even though I had sisters, they were much older than me, so when I was little we weren't very close. But we are close now and I am very grateful for them. I would like to second Shanna's suggestion of coming out here. We can giggle and paint nails and make the boys watch the kiddos. It would be just like old family reunions. Cause we are the closest thing to sisters, right?

Melinda & Matt said...

I'm going to third the invitation to come out to visit your Georgia sisters--the amount of DNA we share we have to be awfully close to having a sister from your mom and dad--we can even tell stories about all the same grandparents and cousins and family reunions!

As for the sister subject...I am really feeling it right now too--3 boys (actually 4 counting Rees)and one girl makes me so sad for Caroline--not that I would trade any of the boys for another girl--but I so wanted a sister for Caroline, my sisters and I are so close that it hurts to think about her missing out on it--and even though she doesn't complain (much), she is already really into transformers and watching football (ok the football comes from me) and I hate to think about stopping and finalizing that situation--but having 4 boys in a row doesn't encourage me that a girl is coming...

Sarah said...

Ali,
I have two...you can have one. Which one do you want? ha ha. :) You know, I never had any brothers, so I never realized how lucky I was to have two close sisters. Although I used to wish I had a big brother...now that I'm older, I'm glad I didn't. Anyways, you caused me to count my blessings. And seriously, if I see you at a family reunion, I will totally invite you to talk with me and my sisters! :)

heather said...

Now why do you write this now that you are moving!!! I love adopting sisters into my family. Dave is very used to this. He loves when my sisters are here, than he is off duty to entertain me. Hey, and than I could have asked you to babysit when we went out of town. ha ha. So so so so sad you are moving. (that was four sads).

Emily said...

Hey Ali, it's Emily. The cousin that excludes you at family functions. Crap, I feel like a jerk. But, honestly, growing up, I just wanted to be an only child. Sisters are overrated!!! Just kidding. But, the endless fights about clothes, phone time, tv time, car time...I could go on and on. I love my sisters with all my heart, but some days I would have sold them for a Gap tshirt. Let's be honest. There was way too much estrogen at our house. Next family reunion, you are totally sitting by us. I might even call you a name just to make you feel included. Deal?