Happy National Siblings Day! When I was a girl (the one on the right with the pink sash, half ponytail, and awkward smile), my parents celebrated "Daughters' Day," on one of the Sundays between Mother's and Father's Day. Daughter's Day entailed the same conventions as Mother's and Father's Days: gifts, lunch at a restaurant that we got dressed up for, drinking Shirley Temples garnished with cocktail umbrellas.
In this photo, I'm with my younger and older sister, standing in front of our mantel in Newfoundland, Canada. Our bare feet welcome the cool linoleum in the middle of summer. My younger sister and I are only a year apart, and as we were usually the same size, my mom often bought us matching clothes. In public, we'd be asked if we were twins, which we hated and whined about. But here, we're all matching: my mom sewed these dresses, the Ice Cream dresses. I don't know now if my older sister's dress is made of a different fabric with more muted ice cream cones, or if that's just a trick of the light. The collar and trim on her sleeves are fuller, perhaps denoting a more grownup style. My younger sister and I have similar trims, but here, we weren't totally matching, as hers was yellow, mine was pink. Years later, my mom visited my older sister's house and her youngest daughter ran out in the yellow Ice Cream dress.
Siblings Day is, of course, about the relationship between siblings. With three girls in the same household for nearly 16 years, two of them nearly the same age, there were many quarrels. When my younger sister and I couldn't stand to be around each other, our parents would make us get even closer together, sitting on the couch with our arms and legs criss-crossed over each other's. My mom still laughs when she remembers us in that position, crying and leaning our heads as far away as they could get with our limbs entangled. But these days, my sisters number amongst my closest friends. If we don't talk on the phone as often as we could, it's because we know we have to block out at least an hour if not several for our conversations. I'll always have an incredible shared sense of history with them, a place where my sense of humor was developed, and a familiarity that lets us jump into conversations without small talk. Much love to my sisters on National Siblings Day, and always!
In honor of National Siblings Day, we are running a contest for a free sibling photo restoration and a chance to be featured on this blog (if the winner wishes). Submit your sibling photo and a brief description or story by email here or to info at familyarchivebusiness dot com, with the subject line, "Submission: National Siblings Day." Deadline: April 17, 2015.