This past weekend we celebrated my sister-in-law’s 22nd birthday. Kayla and I have a lot in common, and are often goofing around or laughing about something ridiculous only the two of us find funny. One morning while doing just that I overheard my mother-in-law say to Mike, “It’s so nice how well they get along…just like sisters.”
I never cared too much about not having siblings as a kid. I grew up living next door to my three cousins who were all about my age, and I surrounded myself with gal pals both at school and at my dance studio. My parents were always very welcoming and loved having visitors. My mom would often buy groceries for a family of at least 5 to accommodate all the kids that barged in and out of our place weekly. It was rare that our home was quiet, so I never really felt like an only child. Being around my cousins, and close friends 24/7 always made me feel like I had a bunch of siblings.
When I met my first long term boyfriend, he had a sister who was only a year younger than him. She always treated me super well, loved hanging out just the two of us, and always made an effort to include me with her friends. I was very lucky, and still feel so fortunate to have spent my teens, and most of my twenties with her in my life. Although it is much less frequent than before, we still touch base every once in a while and it always feels like we are able to continue right where we left off.
When I met my husband, he spoke so fondly of his sister, and I could tell they were extremely close right from the start. It was clear that although she was 9 years younger than him they were best friends. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t worried about whether or not she would like me, or if she would be overly protective like some sisters are of their brothers. I even worried about whether she would think I was boring or too old for her to connect with, but it was actually the opposite. She accepted me with open arms, and from day one showed me that the relationship her and I established was very important to her.
Kayla is not your average 22 year old. She is wise beyond her years and is always soaking in as much knowledge about anything and everything she can… a trait she and her brother most certainly share. She has a quiet confidence about her that showcases her overall comfortable nature. She doesn’t have the typical FOMO (fear of missing out) most young adults have… and having been 22 once myself I am definitely guilty of this! Even if I was dead tired and just wanted to stay home in my sweats watching TV, I would muster up the energy to go out because “everyone” was going, and 90% of the time that big night out was a total bust anyways. Thankfully I have grown up and out of this stage in my life. Kayla is definitely not learning the hard way in that regard. She is completely self assured, and is confident dancing to the beat of her own drum. I admire her greatly for these qualities she so elegantly exudes at such a young and impressionable age.
My mom is the person everyone goes to for advice. She is incredibly smart, and understands people better than anyone. All of my friends sought out her opinions growing up, and it is rare that she needs advice from others. However, during our wedding planning craziness, Kayla sat with my mom one day discussing countless wedding day details people had different opinions about (and when it comes to weddings EVERYONE has a list of their own). Later that day my mom spoke to me and said “Kayla is one smart girl. I don’t often take advice from people younger than me, let alone someone who is just 21 years old, but she has quite the head on her shoulders.” For anyone that knows my mom, that is the biggest form of compliment you could ever receive, and she was right…as usual 😉
I have learned so much from Kayla in the short time that I have known her. Each and every day she blows me away with her incredible maturity, how well she handles different obstacles, and with her broad perspectives on family, relationships, and life in general. She is always one step ahead of the game, and understands life lessons it takes others (myself included) years to sort out. I am so thankful to have found a soulmate with a sister as caring and welcoming of me as she is, but I guess that is the fun part about having a sibling! They accept you for who you are, and although you’re not exactly the same they love you unconditionally despite your differences. I am the luckiest only child out there who grew up with parents who loved having a full house, friends who have always felt like siblings, a family who has never left my side, and now, a real sister of my own who I love to pieces, and who I know loves me right back.
For all you lonely only’s out there, my piece of advice to you is to surround yourself with like minded people who love you unconditionally because after all, family is not just connected by blood, but is filled with those who grow your heart throughout your lifetime.
Happy Friday friends!