Which Sister is Best?

bestChoosing a favorite

When I was a child, I told my mother that I could not decide which older sister I loved the best. One lived in Michigan and one in Delaware. There was such excitement in our house when one (or both) of them were coming home. I shared the guilt I felt that some days I liked the one best, and other days my favorite was a different sister. What was I to do with this loyalty/disloyalty problem?”

“I remember when I was your age, I couldn’t decide which sister I loved best,” Mama said. “Some days I liked Lena best and other days I liked Myra best. I realized that the one I liked the most was the one who was away from home. That’s because the one at home was being my boss for the day, so of course I wanted the other sister instead of this one. That was really what made me decide which sister was best.”

I remember the comfort I felt, to know it was okay to like one sister best, and it was okay to switch which sister I liked best. My mother didn’t tell me it was okay. She just shared her own experiences to let me know she understood, and to give me permission to vacillate for the moment.

The way we are

Many times it’s not so much who we like most as it is who we mesh with best. For some, it is easier to connect and relate to a person who thinks like they think. Others are drawn to folks so opposite to them because they present a different perspective. It’s okay to be more drawn to one sibling than to another, or to one friend than to another. Recognize what causes the pull, and work at being friends with those who are different. Just as magnets pull or repel, so it is with friendships and with sisters.

The force of attraction or force of repulsion decides which sister (or friend) we most want to be with. It is important that we allow ourselves grace to be drawn to some folks more than others. It is also important that we work at relationships that are distant because we are polar opposites.

Over a dozen years ago, my daughters thought there might be opportunity to take an aunt with them on a trip, two daughters to choose one aunt out of two. I knew the girls would choose a different aunt, and I knew why. The two girls thought and responded to life situations differently, just like their aunts. When it came time to choose, each of them chose a different aunt. These two aunts were the same older sisters I vacillated between loving best! (If you’re wondering, the trip details changed so neither aunt was able to join us, which solved the problem for my girls.)

Each is best

Sixty-some years after that conversation with my mama, I realize her wisdom in allowing me to choose a favorite for that day. She didn’t scold or reprimand me.  Mama merely acknowledged my feelings in the moment, validated them, shared her own memories, and let me figure it out myself. Each sister brought her blend to family, and both of them were needed to make us complete.

Pinterest which sister



Photo credit: Pete Linforth/


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