When I found out we were having a second daughter, I was not sure what to think. On one hand, DJ was an awesome kid – challenging my own preconceived notions about having a daughter (having only really ever dealt with little boys growing up.) So having a second daughter was cool but what was I going to do with the ‘sisters’ aspect of things. I only ever had brothers. I knew how that worked. How was this going to work?
It is silly to think about now but I was legitimately concerned having friends who had sisters – watching them fight about things I could not understand or conceive fighting about. My brother and I would get into a disagreement, it likely ended up with a physical response – some yelling at each other – and usually one overpowering the other to get whatever it was resolved. Best resolution? Nope. But it seemed easy and straight-forward compared to my female friends who had sisters, not brothers.
So here I ended up with two girls – sisters.
But here’s the thing I’m learning – sisters can rock – sisters don’t have to fit the stereotypes – and sisters can be funnier than hell.
While they can still fight – and can pretend they annoy the crap out of each other, it’s those moments when we aren’t looking that make me smile.
When I hear DJ explain to Indigo that she doesn’t like the way Indigo’s “friends” treat Indigo. Then explain what real friends should be doing – not what they are doing.
When I see Indigo go with DJ and her friends to get a soda at the corner store, Indigo will always make sure that her sister can get the extra soda too – even if she’s short money. Why? Because she wants DJ to not be short changed.
When I hear them upstairs huddled around DJ’s laptop exploring the new anime they heard about. Showing each other the episodes that are their favorite. And now, they hook it up to a projector and watch it on the big screen.
When they decide while we are out that it is time for cookies – so they make a batch together. I think Indigo has finally helped DJ figure out what she is doing wrong when DJ bakes cookies.
When they come back from going to the store together giggling like mad because of some conversation they had. And when we ask what’s so funny, having them look at each other, start giggling again, then saying we wouldn’t get it.
When they help out together when we are doing something around the house. I love seeing them team up to get something done – being part of the process – contributing together to make a project happen. The last few weeks are awesome examples of that happening.
I love it when we go somewhere and DJ is more than happy to share her drawing supplies with Indigo – and Indigo is more than happy to share her paper with DJ.
And I love it when they both give each other ideas on what to draw. While DJ is an awesome artist – it is great hearing her give Indigo (who is still trying to figure it out) encouragement and positive feedback.
There are still some boundary issues with Indigo where DJ is concerned, but I think that’s typical for any sibling relationship between an oldest and youngest sibling.
I guess when I look at everything in terms of why these guys get along so well it’s because we have taught our girls to honor each other’s difference and celebrate them. DJ knows that Indigo wants to copy her because she looks up to DJ. But she also knows to encourage Indigo to try something new. And Indigo encourages DJ – and cheers her on with things that Indigo may not understand – but she enjoys seeing DJ succeed. We have taught them to be each other’s biggest fans – even if and when the other doesn’t understand it.
And it’s this respect that has resulted in Indigo loving being DJ’s little sister in situations. When they were in school together, DJ’s friends adopted Indigo as their little sister too even though they knew DJ could get annoyed with her – the fact she didn’t shun her resulted in DJ’s friends not shunning her. And at the Ranger program that DJ has been a part of for over a year now, Indigo is known as “Little Sister of DJ”. Indigo knows how much everyone loves and respects DJ, so instead of viewing it as a negative whereby people disrespect her as being her own did – Indigo loves that they think she has potential to be as awesome as her big sister.
Don’t worry – we encourage Indigo to make her own name for herself – and people allow and encourage her too. No kid getting lost in the other sibling’s shadow.
We still have four years of teenage fun coming – high school for DJ and middle school for Indigo. I know a lot can change during that time – and there will be rough spots.
I guess I’m celebrating the fact that those rough patches others have already experienced by now are not happening yet. I’m happy that the sister thing is not stereotypical – and like everything else with these kids – they have made it their own thing.
And as a “Moe” who was a bit worried about how this would go – well, I feel good about how it’s going so far. Just hoping it continues.