Since becoming a mother, one aspect that I am particularly thankful for is how close it has made my family. My mum and my dad, but most of all my sister and I. When Willow arrived, my sister revelled in her role as aunty and supported me through the tough bits. When my nephew was born in February this year, we became even closer.
Growing up my sister and I were close. We were good sisters, giving our parents whole weekends off by hiding up in our bedroom putting on fashion shows to imaginary audiences and creating whole towns of Sylvanian Families. In our teens, our relationship wasn't quite so amicable. I just wanted to be around her and she wanted to get as far away from me as humanly possible. We fought over clothes and make up. She once threw a cup of (cool) tea at me for going in her room and one time, I tried to pull her down the stairs by her leg, after she borrowed my boots without asking.
By the time we had gotten over our teen spats, we were both off to college and University with hundreds of miles between us. In our early twenties we didn't talk much, only at family get togethers and such like. We weren't the kind of sisters that rang each other twice a week for long chats. We both just got on with our lives.
It really wasn't until I fell pregnant that we stated to have more contact. It became more natural to be around each other and I valued my sisters support and understanding. From here our sisterhood began to flourish and by the time my sister gave birth to her little boy, I was ready with all my 'expert parenting knowledge' and packets of breast pads.
I now cherish the closeness we share. In the past, I often felt like I was missing out and was jealous of friends who had a close sibling bond. I suppose for my sister and I, it was a matter of timing. We both needed to grow up enough to recognise the importance of family. One thing we are both looking forward to, is raising our children together. With only ten months between Willow and my nephew, they will experience something that my sister and I didn't - a close extended family. This excites me a lot.
“You can choose your friends but you sho' can't choose your family, an' they're still kin to you no matter whether you acknowledge 'em or not, and it makes you look right silly when you don't.”
― Harper Lee, To Kill A Mocking Bird.