My sister has been checking in on me more than usual lately. We’ve always been close even though we are seven years apart, and she has a sense of when I need her more. For example, she sent me a text the morning after I ended a three-year relationship, letting me know she was just checking in. When I told her how I was really doing, explaining about the breakup, she wrote back: I knew I had to message you as soon as I woke up this morning.
The same thing happened when I went through my divorce. The day after my ex-husband and I decided to separate I got a call from her. She explained she’d had a bad dream about me and wanted to hear my voice.
I remember the day she was born. I was in second grade and we bonded right away. I was never jealous that she got lots of attention; growing up, she was one of my closest friends. Our bond grew stronger when our parents divorced. She was in elementary school, I was in middle school, and my parents were very busy with their new, single lives. There were many nights it was just us at home, and I was in charge of bathing her, packing her lunch, and making sure she ate and went to bed on time.
After I left for college, while she was still living at home, I called her every week. I couldn’t wait to come home on breaks to see her. We’d spend hours shopping, looking through catalogs, watching MTV, and ordering pizza after our mom went to bed. Most of the time, I wanted to hang out with her over my friends.
I was the one she called for when she cut herself shaving her legs for the first time. I was the first to find out she got pregnant when she was 19 and she came to me because she didn’t know what she was going to do. She was the only one I wanted in the delivery room when I gave birth and the only one I trusted to babysit my kids when they were small.
Now our lives are so chaotic I sometimes wonder how we still have that sixth sense for each other. There are six kids between us, we both work full-time, and there are times we go months without seeing each other even though she lives right down the road.
The best thing about having a sister you are close to is knowing you can always go to them about anything because they have known you almost your entire life.
There are times my sister is able to see things about my own life that I just can’t because she’s watched me for so long. There are times I’m able to swoop in and help her do something she can’t seem to conquer herself.
There is always a sense of comfort between us; it’s helped us form an unbreakable bond that even a disagreement or argument doesn’t weaken.
Throughout our lives, we have friends and lovers that come and go. But when you form a close bond with your sibling it’s something you can always count on. It’s a judgment-free zone where you are able to be completely yourself because they have seen you at your worst (many times) and your best (many times) and they are still there. And if you ask me, there is absolutely nothing like it.
Katie Bingham-Smith is a full-time freelance writer living in Maine with her three teens and two ducks. When she’s not writing she’s probably spending too much money online and drinking Coke Zero.