There’s nothing like a Disney movie to get you thinking.
Fortunately, I caught the movie now, as it is leaving theaters. I’m not going to tell you about the film here (other than you should see it), but you need to know that it’s a movie about relationships, true love, and family. Specifically, sisters.
So this one is for the sisters.
I’m lucky. I have three of them. Though if you would have asked me years ago, I would have told you that it was the worst. We fought all the time. I even recall actually punching one of my younger sisters. It could have just been a dream though. I remember having that dream often.
I shared a room with two of them (not at the same time, mind you) and was jealous that the younger one had her own room – a luxury no one in my family had but her. My oldest sister was the neat one. She complained that I never made my bed, that my clothes were everywhere, and that I kept her up at night. While it’s true that I talked in my sleep, she was a sleepwalker, so I think it balanced out. Her papers were filed, and organized. Mine were piled around my desk, crumbled in balls, and stowed under my bed. She studied and did well. I didn’t study and got by.
It was clearly a match made in heaven.
By the time she moved out, I was excited for my own room. But, before I could even switch beds, my younger sister moved in.
My parents were clever that way.
We were both relatively sloppy and only saw the floor after one of our notorious, late night “let’s clean up the room” fests, where we would pile everything in the center of the room and give ourselves 10 minutes (maybe five) to put everything away. I usually threw a lot of things on the floor of my closet or under the bed. Next to the old papers. The important thing was that it looked clean.
Sibling relationships change over time and fortunately, my sisters and I have grown closer. I laugh when I think of the fights we had as kids, and more often remember the fun things we used to do. Like the time my older sister and I put all our stuffed animals on the roof outside our window. Or when my younger sister and I rearranged the entire downstairs while our parents were asleep. I remember teaching my youngest sister how to play a duet on the piano which we called “The Muppet Song” though I am sure it has a real name. Ironic now that I think of it, because she was a far superior piano player even then, when she was five.
We were rarely home as teenagers, spending those years separately but still together. Always ending our phone conversations or letters with “I love you” or “I miss you” or more often, with both. It wasn’t something that I ever thought twice about.
I always thought that was typical of sisters, but sadly, it isn’t. In many cases, people with sisters never get beyond that angry, fighting, stage. It follows them into adulthood like a black cloud of jealousy, or resentment, or worse, indifference.
My sisters are my built-in friends, bound by blood and forged through years of bickering and comforting. We are there for each other even when we can’t physically be there. Through babies being born, through pain and loss, through marriage and moving, my sisters are on the phone, on Facebook, on Twitter. They call from across miles and across oceans, never feeling as far as they actually are.We share secrets no one else knows. We share memories created during late-night thunderstorms and rain-soaked boardwalk treks. We grew up on the same foods and pretty much wore the same clothes. Our kids play the same games we invented on endless Saturday afternoons. We cheer each other’s successes, mourn each other’s losses, commiserate on the bad days and playfully one-up each other on whatever our pre-coffee morning looked like. We followed paths that took us to different parts of the world but our bond is still as strong as those days when we were jumping on beds, rolling our eyes at each other, and slamming doors.
I still miss it, though.
None of them has escaped to an ice castle on the top of a mountain, but rest assured, if one of us ever did, we would all come running. After all, we’re sisters.
And it’s been a while since we built a snowman.