Little Sisters: The Sidekick Nature Gives You


I’ve written before about mother-son relationships and how worried I felt when I learned Anders was a boy. That fear eased some once Anders arrived, but fresh anxiety took its place when I learned that his sibling was a girl. Of course, I wanted a girl. How perfect to be given the chance to know what it is to mother both sexes.

But once the elation from the news that we would be adding some pink to our blue wore off, I began to wonder what their relationship would be like. My experience with brother-sister relationships was as limited as my experience with mother-son relationships before I gave birth to Anders. I thought of the bond shared between my sisters and I — a bond forged over late night heart-to-hearts, shopping trips, and, in many ways, the shared understanding of how difficult it can be to simply be female. It seemed unlikely and, in some cases, impossible that my son and daughter would ever have these experiences together.

Would they grow side-by-side as strangers unable to bridge the gap that anatomy built? That seemed dramatic, but still I wondered.

My daughter, Dani, is now two and a half, and at this stage those early fears seem laughable. On any given day our walls are shaking with the sounds of their make-believe play. Dani has all but abandoned the traditional toys of girls, opting instead for her brother’s action figures and toy cars. She’s even begun to insist on wearing super hero costumes on a daily basis the way he does. Though, her preference is less defined. Anders is always Batman and she is… well, super hero identity crisis girl.

She looks up to him. She listens to him sometimes better than she listens to me. No one’s words light up her face or wound her quite like his. Even at the age of four he looks out for her. He interprets her run together baby talk. Watching them together is hands down the greatest joy I’ve experienced as a parent.

I guess every super hero needs a sidekick.

Do you have children of both sexes? What are their relationships like?

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