Sisterhood // Family Week Day 3

The final day of family week is here!

The best way the describe my sister and I is that we’re exactly the same and incredibly different. We have very similar interest but completely different personalities. On speaker with her a few weeks ago, her friends explained how to them it sounded like she was having a conversation with herself, that’s how similar we sound.

Hannah was born in ‘95 and I was born in ‘97 (yeah, I know). Being two years apart meant that we were constantly connected growing up. We had roughly the same friends, were interested in the same things. She matured first, but because she was mature I quickly followed suit. Don’t get me wrong, there were certainly the Bad Years. We were both terrible teenagers at the same time and we fought constantly for a few years

Now we’re closer than ever. That’s how sisterhood is.

I’ve written a lot about my sister. Don’t worry, I can’t shut up about her off the internet either. She’s been a parent, a companion, a partner-in-crime, a best friend. She’s the one I call first when I’m feeling homesick or something’s wrong.

I can send her a completely obscure text in the middle of the night and she’ll get it. I can ask her some totally random question and she’ll answer without questioning. I can stay up all night with her watching the extended editions of the Lord of the Rings movies.

Some of the best times of my life are driving aimlessly around with all the windows rolled down and terrible sugar-pop blasting through the speakers. Laughing at bad jokes in McDonalds so late it’s morning. Movie premiers, trips to the beach in the rain, burger runs. My concept of family and to a greater extent happiness is inextricably linked to her.

In one of my classes we had to pick a stance on a series of moral questions. One of them concerned where your loyalties lie– government or family– and how strong.Me? I’m ride or die, baby. All the way til’ the end.

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Mother Dearest // Family Week Day 2

My relationship with my mom has been turbulent at best. Now that I have the gift of hindsight I’m just so embarrassed about how I act towards her when I was a teenager. It was bad, to say the least.

I may or may not have mentioned this before but my parents divorced when I was thirteen, which is just a terrible age in general, even worse when your life falls apart before your eyes. And… I blamed my mom. I blamed her for walking out on us, even though she didn’t. I just couldn’t understand the sacrifices she was making. For my sister and I, for myself. For two years she lived in a terrible place that could only be described as a cabin, with no heat, just so she could be close to us. But I didn’t want to see her. I can’t imagine how awful the way I acted made her feel.

I don’t deserve her. All things considered I’ve been a terrible daughter to a mother who has done nothing but love me. She drove me to school almost every day the year between my sister going to college and me getting my license (this was no small thing– by then she’d moved twenty minutes away, forty with the terrible morning traffic). She was always willing to make me food when dad hadn’t gone grocery shopping, bought me food, sent me sweet text messages in the middle of the day.

She’s also so strong. I wanted to write this before Breast Cancer Awareness month was over, because my mom had breast cancer twice. The first time was in the midst of when I hated her, and I hardly knew anything about it. Imagine having to deal with the contempt of your daughter and fucking cancer at the same time. But she did, and was fine. Until the cancer came back, that is. This time I was older, our relationship was mostly repaired but she still suffered largely without me knowing (don’t worry, one double mastectomy later, she’s fine).

It’s so easy for us to go through life without ever thinking about the things our parents sacrifice for us without our knowing. It’s so easy to never say thank you, to never give anything back. And that’s fucked up. I want to be a better daughter. I want to give the love my mom gave to me back to her.

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Daughters of Fathers // Family Week Day 1

I’m my father’s daughter.

We don’t look that similar; the only feature I inherited from him was my hair (which, thank you). My nose, my eyes, my freckles– all my mom.

As far as personality goes? All him.

We’re quiet people. After my sister moved out and it was just and him (and my cat, Ziggy), the house was so quiet. It’s so nice to sit in silence with someone and still feel close. I also got my dad into scented candles (Yankee Candle is very important to me), so our house always smelled like fall. Yeah, even in the summer. Hey, I like what I like. His love of history I got too, though he probably forced his hand with that one. Every night we would watch the nightly news (David Muir is our favorite), then Wheel of Fortune, and Jeopardy to round things out.

I inherited some of his bad habits, too. Not great with the whole “expressing your feelings” thing.

I meet a lot of people with bad relationship with their fathers and nothing could make me sadder. My dad is a cool guy and I wish I could share my experience growing up with him (he did kind of adopt my best friend). More than anyone, he tells me what I need to hear when I’m complaining. He believes in tough love and doesn’t hesitate to tell me to just deal with the problems I’ve made for myself. But when I really need it he’s there with a hug, and the fact that he doesn’t give them out often makes them more significant.

He’s a total softie on the inside though. His favorite movies are Spirited Away and Up.

Speaking of favorite movies. He says something to me, everytime I go off with reluctance (work, the SATs, a boring social experience): have fun storming the castle! Of course, that’s an improvised line from The Princess Bride, another favorite movie of ours. One day I have plans to get that tattooed on my body as my first big piece.

I’m far from Daddy’s Little Princess. My dad’s probably never treated anyone like a princess. When I was little and we played Mario Kart and Mario Party together on our beat-up Nintendo 64 (we still have it, by the way), he would never let me win. Self-reliance, that’s what I was taught.

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