Sisters, Sisters...

Surely my family is not the only one to have danced around singing the song from White Christmas by the "Haynes Sisters" (actually Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen). This was one of my absolute favorite movies growing up and there is no telling how many times my sisters and I (and our cousins) would "perform" this song (usually for an unsuspecting Andrew... poor thing was the only boy around!) I'm not sure what we used to represent those big feather things... maybe a duster? We kids made our own fun back in the 90's. =)

Although countless books, articles, essays, stories, etc. have been written about sisters, there is a reason why. This relationship is something unique. (And no, I'm not talking the old-school L.Y.L.A.S.- "love you like a sister", which we all thought was soooo cool.) I have many friends that I love dearly but I don't love anyone quite like I love my sisters. I have three of them, actually. My poor dad wanted a boy so badly and the closest he got was me (because of my embarrassingly tomboyish tendencies for the first 14+ years of my life.) But anyway, he ended up with all females and those crazy girls are my favorite people in the world. It's kind of fun being known as one of "the Baines girls".

By the way, I'm not talking about brother-sister relationships. Sister-sister relationships are what are the most unique. How can you be so angry with someone with someone and be laughing hysterically with them moments later? I remember vividly an afternoon when someone stupidly decided to leave all of us home with Amanda in charge. She and April proceeded to fight (like, to the death) over a red sweater, which in retrospect was rather hideous. I'm talking pulling the sweater in opposite directions, yelling, threats of "I'm telling Mom!" (What's she going to do... cut it in half?) Or once, April told me (in a heated fight over a pink undershirt, if I remember correctly) that her children would not know their Aunt Ashley! Baha! I'm pretty sure Leslie just adores me. So, that one didn't really pan out. We fight over the dumbest stuff!

I went through a stage when every single thing that Amy did got on my nerves. Before you jump on my case, however, it should be made clear that Amy is the baby and thus the favorite. And while I love Mary Poppins, I kind of hate it because my mom (who, like Rebecca, has never concealed her favoritism for her youngest child) has always described Amy as "practically perfect in every way." Yes, it's nauseating. So, somewhere when I was around 4th or 5th grade and Amy was in 1st grade she really got on my nerves. Other than that, we've always gotten along famously. Hence, she was the maid of honor at my wedding. The only thing those other two slobs have ever done for me is give me beautiful nieces and a nephew. Ha! Just kidding...I loved them even before they had those adorable children! 

Having a sister offers some interesting scenarios. Case in point: unless your sizes/tastes differ VASTLY, you will fight over clothes. Case closed. Now, the unspoken laws of this practice indicate that 
1. You do not ever ask to borrow something that has been worn by the owner yet. 
2. You always ASK first. (That's a given.)
3. Bartering is an option but not a guarantee. 
4. No means no. End of story.
But see, in our house there was a little clothes bandit. "Hmmm... where's my white sweater? Where are my brown sandals?" Etc....) 
I won't mention which sister was the flagrant thief, but she looks alot like this little nasty! (Wearing my shirt, ironically!)

So, the clothes thing is just one problem. Fortunately, we were all far enough apart in age that we never fought over boys (like we needed that drama!). But I remember some fights that would make WrestleMania seem tame, all fought over clothes. Ah, sisters.

Something I love about having sisters is how different we are. Outsiders  some people say that we are all alike, and that our mannerisms, etc. are identical. I guess we sound a little bit alike. I don't really sit around comparing our mannerisms. But I do know that we are all quite unique. 

First there's Amanda. As I've said before, she is the Mozart of the family. Obnoxiously talented, especially on the piano, sings, speed-reads.... there's really nothing she can't do. (Except throw back a "hard drink"... that's another story. But my sisters will get it. I hate inside jokes, but that's a good one. I'll have to explain it sometime.) If there were ever the model oldest child, it's her. That's the problem... she grew up first and set the bar so blasted high in every area that none of us other losers could ever measure up! (Fortunately, she doesn't remind us of that.) Oh, and she actually enjoys exercise. That's not exactly an endearing quality. Anyway, my favorite thing about Amanda is that she is my best audience. I get my  best jokes when I'm with her, and she gives me the best reactions. (Is it bad that I think of the best stuff when we sit together in church? Then I feel particularly pleased if I can get her to laugh during a serious moment.) If I could, I'd be her jester full time. (So, we're different in that I am not uber-talented like she is. And I would rather chew off my arm than exercise.)

Then, April. (I'd add a picture, but it's already somewhere in this post... sorry, didn't mean to incriminate anyone. I seem to have a skirt missing!) Where to begin with April? Well, anyone who knows us would immediately identify her as "the pretty one". The one with curly hair. The airhead. (She really is smart. I saw her reading an American Girl book, which means she does chapter books now. With fewer pictures.) JUST KIDDING! She really isn't dumb. She's just a little slow on the draw, which makes my witty comebacks even wittier. It's like she processes them in slow motion. =) Seriously though, my favorite thing about April is that I am probably sillier with her than with anyone else. This week she's been in town visiting and I don't think I ever laugh harder than when I'm laughing at  with her. Ditziness aside, she has always ready to jump to my defense, usually in a shoot-first-ask-questions-later manner. But I'll take it, especially when it's not directed at me. =) (We are different because no one in any universe would be like, "Yeah, Ashley, you know... the pretty one." =)

I came next, but there's really no need to describe myself. So, I'll skip to the caboose, Amy. 

Isn't she adorable? Yes, I am a doting big sister. I guess because I think of her as 12 when she's actually about to turn 20. (That's a painful reality that means I am growing old.) Amy is my emo child. While most people think that she is a sweet fluffy little angel, I know the darkness that brews inside! Hahaha! Just kidding, but she really is the most emotionally complex little person. How does a girl obsessed with the Lord of the Rings trilogy have a Shabby Chic bedroom? I sense a dichotomy. Anyway, Amy is pretty much the other half of my brain sometimes. And the way that we're different is that she merely thinks everything that I actually say out loud. Oh, and she still says "mommy". Which is not acceptable. But she is probably "the good one", truthfully. And I need her to never get married so she can stay a baby. Is that okay? No, I guess not. But even when she is married I will depend on her to have a movie-quoting text session with me at any moment (or have a war of words on facebook!) 

Sisters are special; there's no way around it. You love them, despise them, pull their hair, steal their clothes, cry on their shoulders, call them late at night, text at all hours, unite against a common enemy (usually we choose Mom as our target!), pray for them, spoil their children... because they are the closest friend you will ever have. 

“Sister. She is your mirror, shining back at you with a world of possibilities. She is your witness, who sees you at your worst and best, and loves you anyway. She is your partner in crime, your midnight companion, someone who knows when you are smiling, even in the dark. She is your teacher, your defense attorney, your personal press agent, even your shrink. Some days, she's the reason you wish you were an only child.” (You know I couldn't end this on an entirely sappy note.)

 If you have a sister, be thankful! I have the three best sisters in the world. I smile because they're my sisters; I laugh because there's nothing they can do about it! 



  1. So sweet...and funny! It makes me wish all the more that I had a sister. :)

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  3. Love this post ... makes me miss my sisters :(

  4. Ashley,
    Something tells me you will be missing a Christmas present this year from a certain sister! ;)JK Very cute!


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