Delighted to read Lucy Kippist’s yarn for The Punch today about siblings, because now I have a vaguely journalistic hook for a post I’ve wanted to write for a while now: about how magnificent my sister is. Today she promised she’d be down to Sydney one last time (she lives in Brisbane) to help me say goodbye to this city, and I’m beyond stoked.
Lucy’s piece in turn was inspired by Bryony Gordon’s column for the UK Telegraph, which draws on shocking research that says having a sister is good for your health. Bryony found this counter to her own family’s experience, citing her assaults on her sister and brother’s health, both mental and physical.
When a person says that someone is “like a sister to me” I think, “What? She steals your clothes and blames everything on you?” But I wouldn’t have my siblings any other way. Whether they’d say the same about me is another column entirely.
I like the way Lucy examines the sibling relationship by birth order, concluding that older siblings have it hardest. Umm, obviously! We eldest are the testing groud for nervy first-time parents, overcompensating for their lack of know-how. Our every milestone breaks new ground; our every teenaged claw for freedom is like a surge from the trenches in a world war one movie. Every youthful indiscretion is punished with an iron fist; but, on the flip side, every success brings a new wave of adulation.
Being four years younger, generally more intelligent and less socially retarded than me, and being drop-dead gorgeous, it has always be uncomfortably easy to be jealous of Elle (see – even her name is supermodelly). It doesn’t help when C-grade indie rockstars I am convinced are my soulmate proceed to go gaga over her rather than me (sorry, I know I should be over this by now). But then she will slay me with a pearl of wisdom beyond her years, or a small golden moment of thoughtful kindess, and I can only feel honoured to share her bloodlines.
My sister is the best for more reasons than I can list. Because she has been giving her older sister life advice for years; because she lets me borrow her clothes when they fit; because she never forgets a birthday or an occasion and gives the best presents; because she sees the best in people and situations; because she is always open to life’s random moments of excitement; because she has a seriously oddball sense of humour; and because she somehow still looks up to me even when she is a million times the person I am.
She’s finally graduating from uni this year after a long hard slog at law and journalism, and I couldn’t be prouder of the person she’s grown into. I can’t wait to see what amazing things she does with the next chapter of her life.