As someone who has always been close with their siblings, it's always strange when I come to the sudden realization (usually at three in the morning) that we will probably never live very close to each other again. We're scattered all around the nation right now: one of us on the West Coast, another sister in the Midwest, a brother in New England, and the last one (me) in the South. My sisters and brother were more than just siblings, they were my best friends growing up. The fact that I only get to see them during Christmas and maybe a weekend in the summer breaks my heart.
After the winter holiday break, we began to collectively wonder: when is the next time we'll all actually be together again? Will we be able to see each other in the summer? Will my older sister be too busy with her new Californian job? Will my other sister be preoccupied with research in her graduate program? Will my brother be willing to stop playing video games to go out to dinner with us if we even could all gather up?
I decided to take action against my fear of never seeing my siblings again. While most of my peers were planning a trip to some tropical location for spring break, I saved enough money to buy a ticket to Chicago where one of my sisters lives. My mother agreed to join the trip, which encouraged my oldest sister to abandon sunny San Francisco and visit the Windy City.
Even though the gap between my winter break and my spring break was not too large, I still missed my siblings immensely and longed for any moment I could spend with them. I'm aware that these opportunities will be few and far between, so I need to take advantage while I can.
Of course, your idolized version of being reunited with family does not always align with reality. Within ten minutes of seeing my sister, we were already bickering, and that was not the first time we would fight during the trip.
Still, part of me misses those pointless arguments. I miss the yelling, the hair-pulling, how my two older sisters sometimes gang up on me as the youngest child. To me, all of those things are worth it because, after all of that, we can laugh about childhood memories or give each other advice on our love lives (or for me, lack thereof). I get to see my sisters try to balance becoming adults while they still giggle at "That's What She Said" jokes.
It's strange to watch my sisters get older, to see them discover their path in life. I always saw them as so mature and sure of themselves, but it's nice to know that they're still themselves. Growing up doesn't mean they've lost their sense of humor adventure. They're still my sisters, and they're still my best friends.
After this, I don't know when the next time I'll see them will be. Of course, there is so much technology available, so if I really wanted to sit on the couch and watch "Brooklyn 99" with my sister while eating dinner, we could do that together. But, it's not quite the same if you don't get to share a blanket or occasionally smack one-another in the arm when they keep interrupting the episode. As much as we try to imitate the physical sensation of being next to someone, you can't mirror the feeling completely.
Now that we've gone to the Midwest, maybe our next trip will be to the West Coast, and then they'll even visit me at college. All I know is that distance will not keep me and my sisters apart. Family can cross timezones, cross borders, cross all obstacles. For family, I'm willing to do what I can for another moment of rewatching the last episode of Friends for the thirtieth time.
Oh, and I guess my brother can come too.