My sister is three years older than me, and spent everyday of my childhood reminding me of this fact. As children, we were built in playmates. We spent hours playing barbies, having tea parties with our dolls, and running through the woods. We enjoyed being sisters.
As we reached our teenage years things began to shift. I would become irate at the sight of her wearing my clothes that she had not asked to borrow, yet I felt free to take from her closet. I became annoyed when she would spend time with "my" friends. I remember evenings when her presence frustrated me, and I know she often felt the same way. We simply existed in the same house.
We eventually went off to college, started working, met boys, married those boys, and moved off to different states. We talked, but not often. Honestly, I would have considered several of my friends to be closer to me than my sister. I would always look at people who were very close to their siblings as if they were a bit off.
Then, we became parents. My sister had her son first. A little over a year later I gave birth to my little boy. The woman who previously had been just my sister was now a source, someone who understood, someone who I could ask for advice, and I often did. But, it wasn't until we both ended up living back in our home town that we really began to grow a friendship. We arranged playdates for our boys and conversation time for ourselves. We began to share life, and I learned things about my sister I had never known. We now enjoyed being sisters and friends.
In the past few years my family moved an hour down the road. My sister and I have both had more children and more responsibilities. We are both busy, yet still make time to call and visit one another. Our children beg for these visits. My son will tell you that J, my nephew, is his best friend. I love to here him say that because J's mom is probably mine.