From No Sisters to Two Daughters: What It’s Like to Live in a House Full of Girls

I grew up with two older brothers. I love them both dearly, but as a younger sister, I pretty much did as I was told. If they didn’t want me around, they told me to go away, and as the youngest and only girl, that is what I did.

I DON’T UNDERSTAND living with girls. I love, love, love my girls with all my heart, but I do not have sisters. Being uniquely the only girl and the youngest, I didn’t have fights over make-up and clothes. I didn’t talk about boys and giggle (my mom HATED giggling although she somehow magically thinks it’s cute now when my girls and niece do it…). I had brothers. I played baseball and soccer with the boys until they didn’t offer co-ed anymore. Then, I either had to move to softball and the all-girls soccer team or quit, so I quit. I almost always had more guy friends than girlfriends because I got them; I just understood them better. It was simpler.

At work, I find myself weighing in on—and even mediating--misunderstandings between colleagues. Whether they’re men, women, or both, I often find this easier to navigate than the disagreements that happen under my own roof.

Being a mom to girls, I now see a lot of things in my own house that are portrayed in the movies. There is squabbling and fighting over seemingly trivial things. My oldest doesn’t want the youngest to get her hand-me-down clothes--not because she can still wear them, but because she doesn’t want her to copy her style. The youngest wants to be so much like my older daughter, in fact, that my oldest feels like she is being suffocated by the copying. Their mannerisms and tendencies are almost polar-opposites.

For many years it was endless fighting. But as they have gotten older, I see in the quiet moments--in the stillness of a shared video or dancing in the living room to songs around longer than they have been alive--a growing kinship. And I realize that while I never wanted that bond growing up, I envy their future together as sisters. They will be able to share so much of themselves with each other, like the growing pains of growing up, in a way you can’t just sit down and talk to a brother. The shared clothes, the giggles about boys, the excitement over making the cheer squad, or being asked to the dance by the boy you really like—they’ll always have someone to talk to about these things. They will have an instant stylist, best friend, bridesmaid, and auntie built into one person their whole lives. They will share loves, broken hearts, and clothes (whether they like it or not).

Sometimes I think fate gives you what you are missing that you didn’t even know you wanted. Watching them grow up and go from almost arch enemy level conflict to something close to best friends, it has been a beautiful journey. I hope they will continue to grow closer and always rely on each other to be their “go-to person” for the rest of their lives.