Saints and Spaghetti Throwers

No one knows you quite like your sister does. Especially if she’s the big sis’ and you’re the lil’ one. Older sisters not only know you but with their level-headed sensibility, they somehow manage to love you despite all of your crazy-little-sister, attention-seeking idiosyncrasies anyway.

My sister and I could not be more different. She is only three years my senior but the age gap may as well be 30. She is far more mature and “grown-up” than I am. She is raising seven children and acting out the part of the dutiful, loving wife and little-league-wrestling-basketball-band-choir-soccer-mom like a champ.

My sister is also a saint. She assists in the day-to-day operation of my brother-in-law’s business, works a part-time job, does the laundry, cooks the meals, drives random neighborhood kids (as well as her own) all over God’s green earth, does the household shopping, plants flowers in her yard, hangs little, cutesy, seasonal, artsy-craftsy things on her front door and runs the church nursery. I honestly do not know how she does it. As far as I know… she does not take drugs… So I’m just assuming that she is some sort of non-human, pod-person. It’s either that or she never sleeps.

I, on the other hand, am a spoiled brat. I become completely overwhelmed at the thought of feeding myself, emptying the dishwasher and doing laundry in the same evening. When I’m not at the office, I like to sleep or lounge around watching countless hours of Seinfeld re-runs, Hoarders, cheesy rom-coms or mafia movies while eating food that I did not make.

I enjoy being “Crazy and Fun Aunt JoJo” to my nieces and nephews, getting HER kids so riled up that she has trouble getting them to go to bed. They are teenagers… yes, I said teenagersS-E-V-E-N of them. In fact, she has more kids than there are letters in the WORD “seven.” I know. It is mind-blowing. And I—having no children of my own and even less responsibility—love to teach them things that will annoy her.

Once when she and my brother-in-law were going out for the evening and she asked me to come by and “help” the kids with their dinner, I thought it would be much more fun to teach them how to tell when the spaghetti was done by throwing it against the walls of her kitchen. We had a blast. And the kids, in turn, thought it would be fun to teach me the “Target Denim Song” in order to further irritate their mother because they of course knew that I would sing it… incessantly. You know the song… the one that goes: Denim. Graphic Tees, leggings and tunics. Well denim, backpacks, headphones, hair-ge-e-el. Denim. Shaun White hoodies and denim… Something like that anyway.

Good times.

But here’s the kicker… I am the one who is an emotional mess. I am the nervous wreck. I always have been. I am the one with all kinds of time and freedom and zero tax-deductions and I’m the one taking meds! It boggles the mind how two people, born of the same parents and raised under the very same roof could wind up so completely different. But what I love, what I LOVE about my sister more than anything is that even though we could not be more different… she GETS me. She gets me and she loves me anyway.

The sign hanging above my stove is a recent gift from my sister “just because.” Does she know me or what?

9 thoughts on “Saints and Spaghetti Throwers

  1. Great post! I blogged about my sister today, too. We were three years apart, too, but she was the wild, wacky, crazy older sister while I am the married, responsible mom of (almost) 5 kids. She was my best friend and she died unexpectedly 6 years ago. Sometimes we tell our sisters often enough how much we need them. I hope she reads this!

  2. Loving the post and though I do not have a sister I have a brother who is two years older than me. He blended a family so there are 5 teenagers – the oldest just turned 20 and had a baby in the Spring – is it crazy up in here. I am married without kiddos. We couldn’t be more different, but like you and your sister we get each other. I am so glad as adults he has stopped trying to scar, maim or kill me and that he was a perfect gentleman at my Wedding – no pranks:) Have a Great Weekend – Take Care.

  3. Samantha Jones says:

    Hey, Aunt JoJo…that is so nice of u to write to your older sister. haha. And yes my aunt is probably the best aunt ever!! shh..don’t tell aunt pam she might get a little (or a lot) jealous. Oh if u dont know im one of those seven, actually the third oldest of all. I’m sixteen and it is fun being in a big family, even though most people don’t think it would be!! haha love you lots aunt jojo!
    sami 😀

  4. Love this! I am the only child and have never experienced the joy (or pain) of having a sibling. Growing up was quite lonely, so I told myself I’d never let that happen to my kid. That’s why I now have two boys, 11 and 12-yr-old, and one soon-to-be stepson. The more, the merrier. Your sister does sound like a saint–Job to be more specific 🙂
    I really enjoyed this one, have a great weekend.

  5. JT says:

    That is awesome! I wish I had a sister with seven kids…heck I wish I had a sister period! This post really let the undercurrents of how deeply you care about each other show through. You can’t put a price on that!

  6. Darrick says:

    Your whole family is pretty awesome – your sister, brother-in-law and all of those nieces and nephews, your parents and YOU!
    My brother is a year younger, and I often wonder the same thing – how can we be from the same parents, the same household? Polar opposites. To be honest, I’ve occasionally thought that had we not been brothers, he is NOT the type of person I would hang out with – which, of course, always makes me reflect on my attitude toward others, and that whole judge-a-book-by-its-cover thing. Because generally, I enjoy hanging out with him.
    For a little while, at least. 🙂
    Really, though, he’s a great guy who’s always there when I need a hand around the house, or with vehicles, or any other kind of mechanical task like that where his skills are superior to mine.

  7. Jennifer Jones says:

    My pod is in your loft… next to an empty prescription bottle. And brown bottle.
    Now I’ll have to dispose of everyone who’s read this…
    Can I borrow your hammer? Or is that Dad’s, too?
    OK – just kidding.
    Thank you very much… sometimes I feel like the hamster on the wheel;
    Chester, not Laura. But that’s another post for you.
    I just go one day @ a time and my family comes first and is thankful for the
    reprieve their aunt gives them from their anal-retentive mama.
    And thank God for His strength so I don’t take a bottle; we don’t have
    a great insurance plan w/ self-employment.

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