I have 5 sisters and they are all strangers to me. If you were to ask me their favorite color, their favorite restaurant, their dreams and fears, I could not tell you. I've met them, and have known them my whole life, but our relationship has been strained by circumstances so much so that developing a friendship, let alone a sister bond is highly unlikely.
This used to me make me sad. I have wonderful girlfriends whom I love and cherish, and I know there is nothing like the female bond. Most of my friends have sisters they consider first and foremost in their lives; they are each others best friend and their preferred confidante. Occasionally, I wish I had that too, but then I recognize this is a false sense of nostalgia for something that never existed. The alternative for me inevitably always results in toxicity.
It's an interesting conundrum. Some of my sisters have relationships with each other, a fact that might make you think the problem lies with me. It's more complicated than what appears, but in essence I did make a conscious decision, years ago, to fly away from the family tree. There are few members of my family that I choose to have in my life for various reasons; I have no regrets or qualms about this.
We are a large family, just counting half siblings, we are 9 in all: 6 girls and 3 boys. The physical and emotional distance between us is unnoticed by the majority, but has proven to be a mentally sound choice for me to make. As all dysfunctional families goes, mine happened to play favorites, and like many patriarchal cultures, the boys held the preferred status. This seems appalling now, how a family could disregard children because of gender, but when you’re a kid the status quo is silently accepted. I always wanted a younger sister, thinking perhaps I could make it right. These are the immature ideas kids sometimes get.
Life gave me something better though: 2 daughters. Both births were met with reassurances from family members and acquaintances alike that a boy would be next, that I should try for a boy next time, that a boy was surely what we wanted. But we wanted daughters, I wanted daughters. I wanted a chance to raise children in a way that I wasn’t, and the fact that they were girls was even better because I could prove to myself that girls were just as capable of being intelligent, having ideas, academic aspirations, and being worthy of love. I’m not near to being a perfect parent but every day I try, I try and nurture them with goodness, values, experiences, and warmth. These are just the essentials that every child needs, regardless of their gender.
This is an open letter to my daughters. Your bond, your relationship is one of the most sacred things in this universe. Love each other. Trust each other. Praise each other. And above all never compete, never compare, for when one soars the other soars with her. If you can make this promise not to compare, I promise I will make it too. You are each amazing, and radiant, filled with light, beauty, and intelligence as infinite as the cosmos, as time. That light shines brighter when you are near, when you treat each other with love, when you share your thoughts, and whisper secrets to each other, when you love and respect the other wholly. That bond should always be, as long as the earth bond can extend, and as long as the soul can travel.