I don't have any sisters, which is a point of contention that will most likely arise in therapy at some point in my life. My charmed life ended when I was 3 1/2 and my parents brought home my baby brother, thus rudely ripping the center of attention away from me. Growing up, I was always 100% sure that if they had brought home a girl, my life would feel more complete. Girls didn't attempt to hijack Barbie sessions with war games. Girls didn't hit back. Girls never tagged along after my friends and I, ruthlessly challenging my already-shaky status of "cool."
So I thought.
I never had any sisters, but I did have girlfriends. And we had sleepovers. Pizza, junk food, movies, dirty jokes, and whispers deep into the night. I was convinced that if I'd had a sister, every night would be like a sleepover. Doing each others' hair, painting each others' nails, discussing whether or not Whatshisface would ask me to dance at Whatshisotherface's bar mitzvah or if the band teacher was really dating the English teacher and, if so, were they like Ross and Rachel from that hit new show Friends? These were important matters.
Sleepovers were reserved for birthdays, summer nights, and the occasional blizzard. Every now and again I would find a friend with whom we could stretch one sleepover into two or three (especially in the summer time when parental authority was a bit more lax, and the opportunity to send a child over to someone else's house to play was welcome.) But, for the most part, they were rare and anticipated. Like Christmas.
I've recently had a lot of out-of-town houseguests, all of them girlfriends from various walks of life, and so I've been enjoying the influx of sleepovers. Even in our late-twenties-early-thirties, the lights going out signals moments of confession and whispered discussion that pushes far later into the night than anyone anticipated. Only now, our sleepovers are catered with dark chocolate and wine instead of Oreos and Diet Coke, and the subjects we discuss span heavier issues about big decisions, careers, and frightening aspects of adult life that are often too fearful to face alone.
These sleepovers still bolster me, and I have come to realize how these longtime friends of mine are, in a way, sisters of mine. Biologically I was blessed with a younger brother who makes me laugh and knows precisely how to get under my skin. But in my walks of life, I have been blessed with the presence of females who have been friends for many years and with whom I've shared countless sleepovers.
Anyone with siblings will tell you that the grass is always greener in terms of having a brother or sister, and it's entirely possible that a sister would have driven me batshit crazy. I certainly no longer romanticize the idea of having a biological sister, and I've long since come to terms with the fact that my childhood was mostly complete despite my lack of a kind, older sister who would braid my hair, loan me clothes, and pull me into the popular circles at school.
That and the fact that I never got a pony.