Growing up, I've had a lot of people tell me that my sister and I don't look alike, and others that say we definitely do, but mainly just in the eyes. My sister, who is 31, has three kids, and when most people who don't know my family usually ask me if they're my younger siblings. "No," I say, "they're my nieces and nephew." More often than not, people then ask me how old my sister is, and once I tell them, the usual response is, "Oh. Half-sisters?" "I mean, technically," is usually mine.
While the question within itself I understand, I would be lying if I said that it didn't hurt me to have to say yes. The thing is, she isn't my half-sister in any other way than blood. We grew up in rooms next to each other, she was there for all of my big moments, and I hers, even if I don't remember them. So, the reality for me is she is just simply my sister.
In most cases where people have asked if we are half-sisters, the conversation usually diverts back to my nieces and nephew. However, the worst cases are those in which people respond with, "Are you guys even really close?" "Isn't it hard having two different families?" and my personal favorite, "Oh, that must be interesting." And again, while it isn't their curiosity that gets to me, it's the tone in which they insinuate that having a half-sibling is less than a sibling you have a full blood relation to.
The thing I find most strange, is that half siblings are incredibly common in this day and age, so why are people so judgmental about it? Not only are everyone's situations different, but also just because someone doesn't have a 'normal' family in your eyes, doesn't give you the right to judge them.
So, I understand that everyone who grows up with half-siblings is going to have a different experience, and I know that it isn't up to anybody else to write rules for what a half-sibling has to be. But for all the people in the past few years that have asked me judgmental questions about my whole sister, here you go:
- Yes, we are in fact very close. Not so much so when I was younger, because she was going to college when I was going to kindergarten, but since about 2010, my sister and I have become extremely close. She is one of the very first people I want to tell of my good news or bad news. I would classify her in the "best friend" category just as much as I would place her into a "sister" category.
- This is something my sister and I have talked about a lot. Whenever we talk, we know "mom" is our mom and "my dad" is the person's dad. Our mom and our dads don't have an unfriendly relationship. We see each other at every birthday, every soccer game and every Christmas special. Her dad and stepmom even come to Butler games, and I go up and say hi!
- It really isn't that interesting for us. It's about just as interesting as having a full-blooded sibling is, just with more people in the mix.