family growing up

sibling un-rivalry

Thursday, March 29, 2007tee

My younger sister and I literally hated each other’s guts. How and why and when it started, I never got it figured out. One thing for sure, while we were growing up, we never really got along. Maybe it was the two-year age gap, or maybe it started that day she was born and my aunts kept on teasing me my parents don’t love me anymore. Being a toddler and the only child til that time, I never really got the joke so maybe I took the words by heart and turned my attention on the little bundle who "took" it all from me.

It’s often said that siblings who are born after the other don’t really get along. Sibling rivalry. And yes, we have our share of that too. I even have this picture of me pinching my baby sister because she won’t stop crying. And for a child who thought that pinching would make the baby calm, imagine my surprise when I discovered it made matters worse. We were oftentimes reprimanded because of the fights we got ourselves into – because of petty things like she stole (borrowed without permission) my doll, or I broke her doll’s arms, or she accidentally vandalized my stuff. During one instance, we were made to kneel down for 10 minutes and pray. How agonizing and long those 10 minutes had been! Especially that we were still pinching and throwing dagger looks at each other in the middle of it all! I also remember a very chubby me chasing my sister and yelling at the top of my lungs because she locked herself and hid inside the restroom. I waited outside waiting for her to go out and when she finally did, things turned around as I was now the one getting chased around the house by my furious sister armed with a toilet-bowl pump/cleaner! What and who picked and started that fight, I forgot. But looking back at those memories now, I just burst into childish giggles. But the worst of all nightmares was when she took karate lessons one summer. I had to run fast (it was an effort for my size) each time we get into fights else I might become her taek-won-doo punching bag.

Sometimes I look back at those "bad" days with regret. If I could just turn back time and maybe, be more patient, or be more understanding. Maybe I was much of a "bully" as an elder sister. When we weren’t fighting we had our fun days too. Like how sweet my sister was in keeping me company while I had chicken pox (which she so lovingly inflicted on meü). She held me in her arms as I was trying to sleep, crying because I was itching all over. Or taking piano lessons together, and having to perform "ChopSticks" together as a pair. Or the times we spent frolicking at our backyard, creating our own make-believe world. Or the times would make up stories and let our imagination run loose, or the times we spent playing in the arcade, or in the local playground. Or those times we had each other to rely on, when all the grown ups were busy doing their things. And who could forget? The "eureka" moment when we discovered the magic of bubble gum and conjured our own "patented" bubblegum recipe: coke+sugar, chilled. It was fun not having to grow up alone, I admit that having my sister (and brother) did contribute to my very happy and enjoyable childhood.

Fast forward to the time where we’ve long ditched Barbies and legos, and playgrounds. My sister and I have gotten pretty close ever since. In fact she’s one of my confidantes, and my true-blue "bestfriend". We keep each other company and tell each other stories as well as update each other the highlights of the day. We look out for each other. She never fails to listen to my constant ramblings and hugs me each time I feel down. We have this instinctive and intuitive feeling of just looking at each other and somehow connecting without saying anything. I do know however, that we’re not perfect and sometimes we lose our tempers from time to time, but thank goodness, none of the "toilet bowl cleaner" episodes again. That, I can live without.

Considering all the sibling rivalry we’ve been through in the past, I have just two words on how everything turned out: not bad.

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