We’re used to think about our younger siblings as someone you always need to protect and teach. Being the older sister, this is twice as true for me. My preconceived views of my sisters never allowed me to see them as full grown women, perfectly capable of catching up to me and even surpass me. Our mutual childhood memories only contributed to that mental model and to stave off introspection into the subject. I unwillingly positioned myself a step further, being able to teach but not to learn from them. I got wrapped up in a kind of age arrogance, convinced I would always be the pathfinder, opening the way for all of us. After all, it was always so, as we were growing up. And then I got blindsided by how fast and how well my kid sister turned into a beautiful mature adult.
My kid sister is a wonderful mother. I’m awed by how easily and calmly she deals with my nephew. I mesmerize at the love that emanates from her, even when a scold is in order. My admiration for her as taken a giant leap forward since my nephew was born, as I watched her cruise through her first pregnancy, facing every challenge with serenity, never loosing the wonder of discovery. Then, I marvelled at the way she cared for her first born, taking everything in stride, learning when to hold on and when to let go. Today, I marvel at the way she teaches her toddler, at the patience she shows him, through his natural whims and tantrums, having become a master at diffusing them.
Through all of this, she never lost sight of herself. She remains confident in who she is, and in what she can do to make this world a better place. She is, today, a far more accomplished woman than I am. She turned into a woman I would be proud to know in any circumstances, a role model to me, when I finally decide to be a mother myself.