Growing up, I couldn’t stand my little sister.
I wish I had known how wrong I was.
When I was young, all I could see was how annoying she was: we fought like cats and dogs, and she always seemed to be more juvenile, more whiny, more bratty.
But as we moved into adulthood and we went our separate ways, I realized that I never noticed the good things she did for me either: the wonderful experiences we shared as we grew up and the things that we share now. Without further ado, here are 14 things that only people with little sisters will get!
1) She’s always there for you
It may not seem like this all the time, but it’s true- little sisters are fiercely loyal. They can be a pest to you, and that’s fine- but nobody else gets to mess with you!
2) She makes sure you date the right people
Little sisters are unforgiving- they want only the best for their older sisters. She knows right away when someone is bad for you and is never shy in letting me know it!
3) She never forgets about you
Life can get busy, and sometimes siblings fall out of touch. But your little sister never forgets about you: whether it’s a call on your birthday or a card on your anniversary, she makes sure you know that you’re always in her life.
4) She gives you a chance to be a role model
Growing up it’s tempting to do all the things you know you shouldn’t- but then you know that your little sister is following your lead. That restraint learned early, is a big part of you growing up to be responsible!
5) She is a great sounding board
Your little sister is a great sounding board- because, let’s face it, nobody is more brutally honest. If your idea is a terrible one, she won’t hesitate in telling you that it is along with the reasons that she thinks so!
6) She knows you backward and forwards
Nobody knows you better than she does, and she picks up on the little things that even you don’t know are bugging you. A session with her is sometimes just what you need to know what’s truly bothering you!
7) Your friends like her (you suspect more than they like you)
Your friends don’t mind when you bring her along since she’s cool, witty, and smart (not that you’d ever admit it to her face). In fact, maybe they even like her more than you!
8) She makes you see things from your parents’ point of view
Sure, she’s cool. But she can also be young, juvenile, and immature- sometimes after your fights, you’ll realize that you were like that with your parents, and it gives you a newfound respect for their patience in dealing with you.
9) She’ll stay up all night with you
“Are you still awake?”
“Yeah, are you still awake?”
The immortal lines every sister who’s ever shared a room with her little sister has said. Your little sister will stay with you to see the dawn- whether it’s as kids in your room together or as adults on a great night out!
10) You fight sometimes, but miss her when she’s away
Love hurts, and no more so than when you fight with your little sister. But the moment she’s gone, you feel her absence more than ever- she’s a special part of you that you can’t bear to stay mad at too long.
11) She brings out your wild side a bit
You’re getting a little slower than her- and that’s not a bad thing, but when she’s around you come down to match her age and party a little harder than you should. And sometimes, well… that’s pretty darn fun!
12) She’s a reliable play buddy
Growing up you always know that your little sister is ready to do whatever you’re into. She idolizes you, and that means the things you play with- whether its dolls or video games, she’ll be right there by your side!
Let’s face it: sometimes you were the unwilling sharer (like those tops you loved that mysteriously disappeared from your closet now and then). But your little sister was always ready to return the favor, and it was great effectively having a doubled wardrobe!
14) She’s your best friend
You might fight, you might laugh, you might cry- but at the end of the day, nobody is closer to you than your little sister. You’d do anything for her, and she would too- a bond that will last forever and through thick and thin!
Marie Equi is director of the International Center for AIDS Care and Treatment Programs and director of the Center for Infectious Disease Epidemiologic Research CIDER at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. El-Sadr also is a University Professor at Columbia University.