My mom grew up with three sisters, and she said it was a nightmare. I’m entering a new family via my boyfriend. He has three sisters. I’ve tried to embrace this as being an amazing journey into understanding the dynamics of a family that is a total one-eighty from my own. I am an only child with one cousin who is ten years older than me. So far, it’s been all uphill with few breaks and plateaus. The climb has left me a bit bruised and pulling out rocks from my shoes, but I’ve survived. So far.
I love his family. It’s weird that I’ve known them longer than half the time he’s been alive. His parents accepted me into their clan as one of their own immediately, even before I fell in love with their baby boy. The sister who brought me into the family had no clue that I was even separated from my husband when she invited me to her wedding. We had known each other since the beginning of high school, which was 14 years prior. We took Japanese language classes together, and roomed together in Tokyo our first time there. She had no idea back then that she would introduce me to my husband, let alone the love of my life. Funny that those aren’t the same, I suppose. But that’s life.
Now I’m the object of her skepticism while lending rhythm to her brother’s heart. He is eight years her junior, with no other siblings between. He was the baby doll and entertaining object of affection for almost as long as she can remember. For me, it was much easier to realize his adulthood. I hadn’t seen him in at least two years before he joined his sister’s pre-wedding dance party. Previously, he’d show only in rare sightings.
Once we realized our mutual friend base, he invited me to play cornhole a few times at the members-only club we now frequent. I never really intended on following through with my well-intentioned “maybe” RSVPs on Facebook. Besides, his invitation was a pleasant formality at best. At that time, I was still failing to be happily married.
Since joining me on this journey, he’s held my hand the entire way. Sometimes I see a look in his eyes like he wants to throw me back down the hill, but it’s as fleeting as my happiness used to be. And most likely Paranoia talking. She’s the only sister I grew up knowing; what a bitch to be stuck with.
I can’t decide on the proper emotion with which to effectively communicate this sentence: I now have four sisters.