It seems like whenever I photograph siblings and begin to pose them next to one another, I get that same look. You know the one, “Really? I have to sit by her?” I always reply by saying, “Yes, you have to pretend you love each other for just a few minutes. I promise it won’t kill you!” These moments with my little clients often make me smile inside and think back to when my sister and I were growing up. With only 18 months separating us, we were a force to be reckoned with. I don’t think we could have even pretended to like one another, let alone “love” one another if we tried. When I think back at how badly we fought, I cringe. We were shameless, and I’m NOT exaggerating. I can remember a time when we were fighting in public, and I can’t believe I’m telling you this, but I actually took a swing at her with my purse. She ducked and I almost took out a storefront window. My poor mother! I can also remember a time when we fought while getting ready for school. It was over something stupid, again, and she threw a large bottle of Aqua Net at me. Ah, the 80’s. I was able to run down the hall to safety and shut my bedroom door just before the bottle hit the door and left a huge dent in the wood. It was not pretty and never something I look back on proudly.
While there were some pretty bad, knock-down fights, there are also memories I cherish. I remember skating together on an ice rink my parents made for us on our back patio. There were times we built snow forts on the side of our house after huge snowfalls. How come we never get snow like that anymore?! We’d play hours in the creek behind our house. One time she got stuck up in a tree that was struck by lightning the night before; it involved four fire trucks to get her down safely. I’ll save that story for another time. 🙂 Finally, there were times when we had nothing better to do, so we’d ride down the stairs in our sleeping bags and pretend we were on a roller coaster. We didn’t always have good times, but we had a history together that no one else shares.
Nowadays, we call each other when we need something, a paper that needs editing, a listening ear that’s needed for a newly written speech. . . or my sister will simply stop by on a Saturday morning, after a twelve-hour night shift at Sherman, surprise my kids with some donuts she picked up at the 7-eleven and catch up with me for a bit. Today, I couldn’t imagine not having my sister around and having the opportunity to watch our kids grow up together. (Incidentally, our firstborns share a birthday!)
So, when I hear those grunts and groans or see a sour look on their faces, I remind my little clients that one day they will be happy they have one another and the history that made them who they are today.
After this session, I was inspired to find a good quote about sisters. Nothing too mushy, but something that was fitting for these two little ladies.
The most fitting quote I could find was this, “A sister is a little bit of childhood that can never be lost.” –unknown
I hope that one day when these two sisters look back and see these pictures, they will remember all of the good times they had together and forever hold onto that little bit of childhood.