When Your Sibling Moves Home for Summer Vacation

When Your Sibling Moves Home for Summer Vacation

I got 9 months to live as an only child, and then she came home...
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For the past 9 months, I have gotten the opportunity to live as an only child. My little sister was off at college and I was off to live as the number one priority. Now that Emma is home the whole mojo of the house is thrown off. It took us time to adjust to 3 people living in the house, and just as we get in a routine, Emma has to come home. Here is a list of 4 realizations that occur when a sibling moves home for the summer:

  1. Another mouth to feed...
    1. For the past 9 months, my parents and I have only had to worry about making three meals or we could manage to scrounge around a meal for ourselves. But now with Emma home, we have to worry about making another meal. When a meal isn't prepared, she is the first one to complain.
  2. Where the hell does the TP go?
    1. Let me tell you about a little experiment I did. I purchased a 12 pack of toilet paper and made sure to track how long it lasted with just my parents and me. The twelve rolls lasted in the bathroom for 2 weeks. This means we are not even using a roll a day. I bought a 4 pack of toilet paper once Emma was home. The FOUR rolls of toilet paper lasted for TWO days. That means TWO ROLLS are being used in one day.I am very concerned as to where all the toilet paper is going. Is Emma eating it? Or is there another problem I should be worrying about?
  3. Get out my way!
    1. My mom and I had a routine for mornings. I knew what time she had to be up for work and she knew what time I needed to be up for class. I knew I had to shower the night before or have my shower done by 7:15 am. If I woke up any later than 7:08 am I knew I was not going to be showering that morning. Now that Emma is home, the whole morning schedule has to be rearranged. Just this morning there was a full out brawl between Emma and my mom and I bolted to the bathroom. Then I was trying to apply makeup in the second bathroom, Emma was showering in the other bathroom, and my mom was blow drying her hair in the kitchen. Emma needs to learn the schedule or be able to take my mom in a fist fight if she ever wants to have any hot water!
  4. Locked out!
    1. My dad has always been in charge of locking the doors and turning out the lights. For the past nine months, he has only had to worry about my mother and I being home before locking the door. Well, recently he forgot about the other daughter being home. So...he locked the door and Emma was still out with her friends. Emma rolls home a little after midnight to a dark walkway and locked door. The dogs are barking and Emma is blowing up all of our phones. Eventually she gets in, and hopefully my dad can remember she is home.

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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To The Sister About To Move Away, Girl, You've Got This

You may not physically be here right now, but you're always with our family.

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You were there on the day I was born, somehow sleeping soundly as our mom gave birth to me. I'll never forget the photograph of her presenting me to the world and you sitting beside her, holding up your newly-purchased beanie baby with pride as if being handed this toy was equal to the miracle of birth.

It was a crab, by the way, which somehow makes it funnier.

Growing up, you loved to trick me. You'd make me do chores for you and steal my favorite Barbies, but I think that's just part of being an older sister. I'd stick my tongue out at you and cry out the same phrase, "Mooooom, Sissy is being mean to me!" In fact, I yelled this phrase so often that it began to take on a musical quality.

You were mean at times, but you always had my back. You physically beat up other children that had wronged me, and you let me crawl into your bed so we could watch TV together and exchange stories. We'd often immerse ourselves in fantasy worlds where we were princesses and we rode unicorns side-by-side.

But we grew up, and our fantasy world evaporated like the muddy puddles we'd play in after stormy nights. One second it was there, and then, it was just gone. I remember having a conversation a few years back where we wondered if we had known the last time we played Barbies would, in fact, be our last.

When I was a seventh grader, you were a junior in high school. Our problems were very different back then, but that didn't stop us from talking endlessly about them. We were so similar. We bonded over cheerleading, cute boys, books and music. But even more than that, we bonded over our similar life views and questions about the universe. We both possessed an innate love for life yet we were both distrustful of society's guidelines.

Watching you enter new life phases enthralled me. I thought, Wow, that will be me someday. I danced around the house in each of your four prom dresses, my imagination taking me to a place much grander than a high school gymnasium. Through your stories, I romanticized the future and hoped that I would be as cool as you.

It was a little tough at times, though, always longing for a different part of life. When I entered junior high, all I wanted was to be in high school. When I entered high school, I decided college was much cooler because that's what you said. And you were certainly right about that one.

You were the only one I felt comfortable sharing my writing with, the only one I knew could read the meaning behind my sideways glances. We just got each other in every way.

And we still do. To this day, you are one of the people I love and trust most. I don't know what I am going to do without you by my side, as you've been right there for 20 years. But I'm so proud of you. Of the many things we would lay around and talk about throughout the years, one topic persisted: moving away. Moving used to be a pipe dream, something beautiful that lived in your mind but would never come to pass.

And then you took a chance. And now that dream is a reality.

I want you to know how much I admire you. You are so incredible and resilient. I've never met anyone so strong-minded and willing to fight for what she believes in. You would never compromise yourself or your values for another person, but you are generous with others and so kind-hearted.

You are curious about the world and have a desire to learn about life and the richness it has to offer. That is a special quality that cannot be learned. You are beautiful in every way and are truly a blessing to have as a sister.

And it is from these very qualities and so many others that I know you will do great on your own. Sure, it's super tough at first; nobody said it would be easy. But if anyone can do it, then that person is certainly you.

I will always cherish our moments together, and you can always count on me to be there on the sidelines cheering you on, no matter where your adventure takes you.

Much love,

Your Little Sis

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