Growing up, I have always been the little sister. I have taken on this role like it was my job and I loved it.

Abby and I have an amazing relationship, some might even say it is too close. However, when we were younger, we were not without our fair share of fights. Abby knew the exact thing to say to get me upset (e.g. “I know what you are, but what I am?”) and she would threaten me daily that she was going to flush me down the toilet. One of my favorite stories took place on the day before Abby’s 8th Birthday. My mom and I had just returned from a trip to Toys R Us to pick out her present. I sat happily on the swing set in the back yard, excited to see Abby’s face when she opened her present – I just knew she was going to love it! Abby came out to the swing set and threatened to never let me play on it again (she claimed it was hers because she got it for her 3rd Birthday) unless I told her what we bought her for a present. Under duress, I told her that we got her the Barbie swimming pool. She skipped into the house happily and announced to my mom that I had revealed the big surprise. Needless to say, that was the last time my mom included me in the Birthday present shopping experience. I am pretty sure I put soap on Abby’s tooth-brush that night.

While Abby knew how to manipulate me and get me upset, I learned very quickly how to play the victim and get my parents on my side of things. As I got older, I also learned how to sneak into Abby’s room, borrow her clothes and then return them without her knowing. I remember when we were looking through my 8th grade year book, Abby’s world came crashing down as she saw countless pictures of me wearing HER clothes. Why bother waiting for hand-me-downs when I could just take her clothes right then and there?

On the whole we were great friends. Abby was an amazing older sister and the best role model I could ever ask for. I am so lucky to have her in my life as a sister and as a best friend. I have always been grateful to be the little sister. I certainly feel like I benefit a lot more from our relationship and there is much less pressure on my end. I can’t imagine doing everything first: getting my license, fighting with my parents for a later curfew, going to college, etc. She certainly paved the way for my success.

Until recently, I didn’t understand all that a younger sister could give you in return. Getting married to Matt means I will become his wife, but it also means I will become a big sister to his younger sister. Courtney is 2.5 years younger than I am, which is the same age difference between Abby and I. While I have known her since she was 13 years old, nearly all of the years that I have dated Matt have been away from home. I only got to see her grow up from a distance.  But even at this distance, I am so impressed with her maturity, passion and self-confidence. She inspires me to be a better person and to live life to the fullest.

Last week, Courtney graduated with honors from nursing school. She was elected to speak at her pinning ceremony, which is an honor bestowed to only 1 of the 60 graduates. While I could not attend, Matt told me how great she was. It is amazing that you can feel so proud of someone else’s accomplishments.

I am so lucky to be gaining Courtney as a sister. I hope that I can be as great an older sister to her, as my sister had been to me. They certainly are big shoes to fill.

One of my favorite books/movies about sisters is  Louisa May Alcott’s “Little Women.” I think this quote defines the relationship that sisters have:

Amy March: Do you love Laurie more than you love me?
Jo March: Don’t be silly! I could never love anyone more than I love my sisters.