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June 19, 2018

Having a Sister didn’t Prepare you for This.

My parents still love to reminisce about the battles that my brother and I used to fight over sharing dessert.

I think our dad carries some permanent scars with him, because to this day he never wants to share desserts with us.

Recently, as my brother’s wedding day was approaching, I wanted to write a few words to share with the guests. So I found myself thinking about dessert, and cake in general, and marriage, and the fine art of sharing.

And I wrote something. It’s called, “Having a Sister didn’t prepare you for this.” Beneath the requisite teasing, there is a message in it that I feel is important—and worth sharing with a few more people than those present at the celebration.

When someone chooses to share their time with us, it is the greatest gift and the greatest compliment. This choice is something to be cherished.

Having a Sister didn’t Prepare you for This

I know I’m your little sister, but listen up. I have a little bit of wisdom to share with you.

I’m betting you think that because you grew up with a sister (and a mother) you know something about women. And maybe that’s true. But just in case you think being a brother might have prepared you for being a husband, let me assure you:

Having a sister didn’t prepare you for this.
You can’t steal the last bite of dessert—every time,
or call shotgun—every time,
or leave the toilet seat up—every time,
and laugh when she gets pissed off.

No, having a sister didn’t prepare you for this.
If you disappear into your cave for a while,
that’s okay…
but you have to warn her.
And if you’re traveling,
She’ll expect you to call more often than, well, never.

See, having a sister didn’t prepare you for this.
You can’t make her cry,
steal her towel,
push her into the swimming pool,
make fun of her taste in music,
or ignore her messages,
and expect everything to remain the same.

Cherish her, because unlike your sister,
she is choosing to call you family—
and that is a precious gift.

You are my favorite (and only) brother, and I love you with the unbreakable affection unique to little sisters everywhere. But you should know that whatever knowledge you think you’ve gained in your time on this planet has not, in any way shape or form, prepared you for this.

But that’s okay! It’s amazing. You’ll learn together.

Just remember to cherish it—your partnership—and to cherish her, and you’ll be fine. A life shared is a gift. A heart shared is a gift. I’m so happy you found someone to share with.

And to my new sister, and friend—I’m so blessed to call you family. Thank you for choosing my brother… and if he starts stealing the last bite of dessert, let me know, okay?

 

Author’s Note: A few friends, also sisters to brothers about to be married, have since asked if they could borrow my speech. To them and anyone else with a brother, feel free to borrow, modify, and share as much as you like. Due credit is, of course, always nice.

 

author: Toby Israel

Image: Janko Ferlic

Editor: Lieselle Davidson

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Toby Israel

Toby Israel is a vagabond and storyteller with a metaphorical closet full of hats. She currently works as a creative facilitator, editor, and writer, and as Chief Storyteller at NuMundo. She is also a full-time lover of movement, food, and words. For the moment, she lives in Costa Rica. (She came for a master’s degree in Media, Peace, and Conflict Studies from the UN-mandated University for Peace—and stayed for the papaya, sunshine, and conscious community.) Share her journey on her website, and on FacebookInstagram and Twitter!