Dear Ryan

Your mommy is very bold. She's asked me to write to you about having a new sibling. And she's someone who knows the depth of the darkest feelings I harbor for my one and only sister. She's also very wise, for she must have realized I've become (somewhat) wiser and more appreciative of this other person I shared a womb with. 

You see Ryan, in my younger days my sister and I fought like bats out of hell. I was often resentful at how my parents could let her get away with things. As the elder child, I somehow took it upon myself to carry my weight where house chores were concerned. My sister not only failed to do her part, she often left behind a trail of destruction for others to pick up after her. It sounds very petty all these years later, I suppose my sense of fairness was severely offended back then. And the perpetrators being my parents for not holding her accountable. 

In moments of madness I even blamed my parents for conceiving my sister. For thinking that I had not been sufficiently entertaining hence the need to get another child. Yes, having a sibling from hell can wreck havoc on one's logic. Ryan, you'd be surprised how different you and your sibling can be despite sharing the same parents, the same genes and the same upbringing. 

At this point Ryan, you would wisely be contemplating my role in what must have been a pretty disastrous relationship between two sisters. I have to confess I had failed to put myself in her shoes. To consider what it must have felt like to be bossed about, and to be shunned emotionally. 

For all our differences, the frayed bonds holding us together is a whole lot tougher than I would have thought. After years of fighting, grievances and cold wars, we have learnt to deal with it by respecting our differences. To a large extent, this truce hinges on not pressing the wrong buttons. And I assure you, as siblings you know exactly which button is a detonator.

Now that my parents are in their twilight years, it is especially comforting to have my sister as a confidant and to share the responsibilities. Her personality is very different from mine, and that can bring a much needed alternate perspective in caring for our parents. It's interesting how those character differences which once infuriated me, now keeps me sane when the going gets tough.

Ryan, I don't have any words of wisdom to impart. As the saying goes, we choose our friends but not our family. I have faith that by the wisdom of your parents, you and your sibling could very well be the best of friends.



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