According to the World Health Organization, I have a 13% chance of being an alcoholic. If there are 7 people reading this blog, I’m standing in as the alcoholic in the group. I have a lower chance-10%- of being left handed since my parents were both right handed.
So what are the chances that I’d be one of 3 sisters? Just slightly less than being an alcoholic. Since there’s a 50% chance of having a girl the first time, by third time it works out to 1/2 x 1/2 x 1/2 = 1/8 or about a 12-1/2% probability.
And even though I have a greater chance of being a lefty AND an alcoholic, there’s no greater probability for me being a lefty, an alcoholic, and a member of the daughter trio.
Which I am.
I’m 4 years behind my older sister and 2-1/2 years ahead of my little sister. There’s a lot written about birth order and what personal characteristics the oldest, middle and youngest child have. I don’t know if any of it is true. And it doesn’t appear that there’s a drastic difference whether you are male or female.
The only girl trio statistic that stood out was that mothers of 3 girls are 20% more likely to get a divorce than mothers of 3 boys. But the reasoning behind that is that mothers of girls have a perceived support system with their daughters that mothers of boys don’t always feel. That’s from a Psychology Today article so take it for what it’s worth. But I think that might be true.
My older sister has many of the characteristics of the oldest sibling. There’s enough difference in our ages that GJ got to be my surrogate mom when MA was born. One of my earliest memories is of her standing up for me against my aunt. I was 3 or 4 and wanted to sit next to GJ on the kiddie ferris wheel; my aunt wanted me to sit between her 2 boys. When I started crying, our aunt assumed I was afraid to go on the ride, took me off, and my older sister tried to intervene. And got punished for it.
I was her confidant during her teen angst years as she was mine a few years later. I thought I’d never be happy when she went off to college and mourned her leaving like a death. And became best friends with my little sister. I am the fickle one.
That’s one of the nice things about being in the middle. I may not have gotten my own baby book: my early childhood is written in blue under GJ’s entries scribed in black. The compensation is that I get to have a common ground, shared memories, and a close friendship with both of my sisters.
I may not always agree with them, but I love AND like both of them. They are women with whom I would chose to spend time doing something or nothing. For me, that’s the measure of a true friend. The ability to do nothing together and still have fun.
Talking to them is touching base; it’s coming home. We use the same language. I know it’s all English, but the emotional impact of the words is the same for me as for them. I know that when something goes wrong with my life, my daughter is driving the lead car with my sisters behind her in a race to respond. They are a large part of my Emergency Response Team.
According to Iroquois legend, corn, beans, and squash are three inseparable sisters who only grow and thrive together, each plant watched over by one of three sisters spirits.
Corn must grow in community with other crops rather than on its own; it needs the beneficial company and aid of its companions. Beans need something to cling to in order to grow and produce and corn provides that for them.
Beans stabilize the soil and helps hold the corn plant’s roots. They also provide nitrogen which nourishes the corn and squash. Together, the corn and beans provide foliage that protects the young squash plants.
And squash provides a dense ground cover that holds moisture and controls weeds; their spiny leaves and vines discourage predators.
If GJ hadn’t had MA and me, she might have been Mother Theresa but she might have been an Ayatollah Khomeini. We might have brought her down, but we evened her out. I would have never been able to grow without something real to hold onto; I couldn’t have survived without the protection of my “squashy” little sister. And MA? We were the ground breakers and kept the heat off of her.
Enough of this analogy. You know what I mean. I couldn’t and wouldn’t be the woman I am today without my sisters.