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I grew up with 3 brothers.  3 brothers whom I adore.  I’ve always felt pretty close to them, and blessed that I have a great relationship with them.  Not just that we get along, but we enjoy, council, and confide in each other.

Oldest to Youngest (in Puerto Rico 4 years ago):  Ryan, Kristen, Russell, & Kirk

 However, everyone once in a while growing up, I would be painfully reminded that I do actually have a sister…just waiting in heaven for me.  When I got sad, I would go running to my room (always had my own room) crying and hide under my bed and speak aloud to her, I wished she were there to play with me or talk to me. Ruth Rebecca.  Would I call her both names, or just one?  (My mom has Ruth as her first name, but goes by her middle). She was born too early.  Science wasn’t as advanced. Her breaths were few.

I’ve lived a great life despite not having a sister to grow up with.  Though I fantasized about us giddily brushing each others hair from childhood all through my teenage years, as I have met and interviewed many friends about their sister relationships, I’ve found that it isn’t always the ideal world that I’ve dreamed.  In a way, it makes it easier for me to hear that, but then there are also the friends that talk to their sisters every day, and that twinge of jealousy will creep into my heart.

I think that since I’ve lived without what I hoped would be a dear confidant in my sister, I’ve always had a deep craving for close frienships.   I am grateful to have been blessed with some amazing friends in my life whom I consider sisters.  Sisters to me are those you can share your ups and your downs and not be embarrassed or feel you have to explain yourself.  Loyal.  Sees the best in me, even when I’m not my best.  I am grateful for the 3 women my brothers married, because I consider them my sisters as well.  They are good to the core.

KJ, Kim, Rachel, & Alayna

Lets not forget the 3 brothers and 3 sisters my husband has.  LOTS of sister-in-laws for me. Interestingly enough…each of those  sister in laws as well as my closest friends all. have. sisters.  Sometimes when I get down on myself, I think about that fact–that I’m not needed to them in the same way that they need me.  But thats only sometimes.  On my rough days. We’ve all got our Achilles’ heel, right?

This week was her birthday, Ruth Rebecca.  A friend was over that day and I casually mentioned that it was my sisters’ birthday, and she asked how old she would be.  It took me a minute to think about because I don’t necessarily think of her age in relation to my age.  I think of her as an infant, or as a teenager (maybe because I still think I am a teenager;) She was born 3 years before me–my moms first–and I turn 33 this summer, so I guess she would be 36.  Wow…36. If she were here, where would she live?  How many kids would she have? Would we talk every day about the fun things our kids are doing?  Compare potty training notes?  Complain about our hubby’s back seat driving? Would we watch Oprah together?  Would we chat andexpress concern over our childrens playmates? Cheer each other on with weight loss goals? Ask if I look chubby in my new outfit?   I’d like to imagine I would do all of that.  But you know what?  I’m feeling pretty blessed because I do have amazing friends whom I have had every one of those discussions with–and more!  I am blessed beyond measure.

Natalie& Emily L. Ruth 

Stacey & Heather

 I do look forward to the day I get to see Ruth Rebecca.  I have faith that my Father in Heaven has a plan for me and is providing experiences and placing people in my path that help me cultivate a rich life.  I know that I will see my sister and have a relationship with her…someday.

I say all of this to lead into the fact that my two daughters have each other–they are sisters.  When we planned for our 4th child, I knew it would likely be our last (that is a whole different story). For myself, I would have been happy with either a boy or a girl, but for my daugther–I had a deep desire for her to have a sister.  I decided I would have just one tear filled pleading prayer stating what that meant to me…I then put my trust in my Father above that all would happen as it should.  I am grateful for the gift of sisters in my home.

 I watch their interaction and analyze it regularly.  My nearly 6 year old likes to dote and “mother” her baby sister, but that little baby doesn’t necessarily like that all the time.  For now, my two year old prefers the company of her older brothers.  But I will see glimpses in them for what I hope will be a lifelong frienship, not just sisters.

Any suggestions on parenting sisters so they grow up to be close to each other? What not to do? I’d love to hear.

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  1. Sisters are a blessing. Your perspective on sisters and friends is a blessing too. It’s funny, the dynamic each plays in our lives. I appreciate your thoughts and the friendship you have given me-you are like a sister and I am so grateful!!!

  2. I to am raising sisters. and I only hope that they will grow up loving each other, being best friends and confiding in each other. I will be checking back to see the comments you get :)

    I don’t have many close girl friends and reading this makes me really want to reach out to some of my friends and pull them in a little closer!

  3. L. Ruth :) says:

    I LOVE this post! It made me smile and tear up. I absolutely consider you a sister to me. I think sometimes even when we have sisters in this life we need to find sisters too (we have had this chat…). I am so glad we met in TX all those years ago. My life would not have been the same! So grateful for all of our “sister” memories!

  4. Beautifully written. What a blessing it is to know that we will be together again with those who have passed before us. And what a sweet experience it is for you to have daughters of your own who can be sisters.

  5. I grew up with just one brother. And when we got to high school we never even really talked to each other, I felt like an only child most of the time. When I was younger I didn’t really think about it but now oh how I wish I had a sister! I do have a wonderful sister in law, but like you said she’s got her own sisters too. I do have great friends though and I will always consider them my “sisters”. I love the pics of your girls here! They are so cute and they will be close no matter what you do I think! I really hope Roxy has a sister one day. But considering you grew up with 3 brothers….maybe it wont be such a bad thing for her! I love you and you turned out GREAT! :)

  6. Beautifully shared, Kristen! How lucky you are to have all those wonderful sister-friends.
    For me, growing up, things were flipped – there were three of us girls, and one little brother.. oh, how I feel sorry for him looking back to when we were all teenagers!
    Now, raising my own kids, our family is similar to your’s growing up. We have four boys & one girl. We love our family the way it is, but there are occasional moments when I’ve longed for a sister for our daughter. She’s amazingly close with her brothers, though – which is really neat to watch.. and I’m inspired by sentiment like yours’ – that when you don’t have sisters, you make them. As she’s enters school years, it’s SO fun to see her build friendships with little girlfriends. I really look forward to the years ahead, getting to know “extra daughters” as I have our sons’ friends.

  7. I just happened to click on a link under one of your more recent posts, and I read this post. I know it’s belated, but I am so glad you’re one my sisters, Kris. Just thought you should know. :)

  8. I came across your blog today and am really enjoying looking at some of your posts. I grew up in a family with four kids. My sister, older brother, me and then our little brother. My sister is six years older than me, and I have to say that A LOT of the time while we were growing up, we weren’t close. There was just too much of an age difference. When she was interested in me, I was too young and didn’t want her babying me. When I became interested in her, she was too old and didn’t want her baby sister following her around all the time. There were moments though, despite the age difference, that we were really close. We shared a room and we were the ones that were there to comfort the other after a really bad day, or to share in the joy of a great day. Now, after we’re “all grown up” with kids of our own, she is truly my closest friend. We are so much alike and there are things that each of us do, that only the other would be able to appreciate. There are two less years between your girls than what there are between my sister and myself, but I would guess that like many siblings they will have times of intense closeness and times where they just don’t want to be around each other, but in the end will probably find each other. At least, this is what I tell myself about my girls :)

  9. I’m so thankful there is a Heaven where we will see our loved ones. I can relate a lot to your story. My twin sister only lived 4 days (we were born 3 months prematurely). I didn’t even know about her until I was 6 years old (I don’t think my mom kept it from me on purpose, but I know it was a painful thing for her.) when we visited our family cemetery and I began asking who this grave and that grave belonged to. I was devastated to learn that I had a sister because I’d always wanted a sister close to my age. I remember writing little notes to her and including her in my drawings of my family. I have two older brothers (older by 6-1/2 and 8 years) and two way older half-sisters (23 and 27 years older than me), so I have not ever had a sister close to my age. (My oldest sister died of lung cancer two years ago – another reason to look forward to Heaven!) I was thrilled when I had my daughter because I’ve always wanted a girl (at least one girl in a houseful of younguns). I still want to have more children, but at age 41, that may not happen. My daughter has recently been talking about doing this and that (or buying this or that, when we’re in the stores) for her baby sister. I would love for that to happen!