"When sisters stand shoulder to shoulder, who stands a chance against us? - Pam Brown

My sisters and I have similar mantras to this, some of them slightly more colorful, but always true.  I was trying to think of areas where I could be considered an expert, and then realized despite my work history and education, I wouldn't call myself an expert in very many things.  However, for over three decades now I have been a sister, and I would say I have become an expert in what that means.

Sisters are the childhood we get to keep forever.  They are our most critical judges in private, and our greatest defenders in public.  I can tell you now, it would not matter what my sisters were guilty of, I won't stand to have someone accuse them to me or to make snide comments about them.  Whatever happens, they are my sisters.  And I know they feel the same about me.

I am the eldest of my parents' children, and I'll only speak for myself saying that I am a true oldest child.  That being said, even though I was the big sister, I was also the least popular, had the smallest social circle, and the least fashion sense.  I have been in the interesting situation of being both "big sister" and yet in some ways very much looking up to both of my younger sisters.

My sisters are not women to trifle with.  Both are independent and outspoken.  They are both educated and have solid careers in place.  They are both great housekeepers, awesome cooks, and in their own individual ways, creative and passionate.  Both are funny and fun to be with.  

My sisters are the type that I can be silly with them in one moment, but if one of us gets crossed, we can suit up for war in the next.  We might bicker between us, but we present a united front.  While walking with my sister once, someone made a comment to her and I immediately said, "you leave my sister alone!"  This has since become sort of our motto.

Sisters are complex because individually we are women, and women sometimes have a tendency to make unfair comparisons with other women (I can imagine my readers laughing at this tremendous understatement!).  This can be a cause for envy, resentment or bitterness.  And a sister rivalry can be very intense.  I am fairly confident of my own academic capabilities but I remember feeling quite challenged knowing I had a very smart young sister following the path right behind me.  Competitiveness or female rivalry aside, sisters are bonded in shared childhoods, experiences and a deep love for one another.  

None of their accolades, achievements, victories or blessings take from me; every good thing that comes to them is a reward well earned and a credit to them.  I take a sense of personal pride in the achievements of my siblings.  As they say on Frasier, we spring from the same fountain!  

And through their trials and tribulations, mistakes, hardships and unfair circumstances, I am their ally.  When we stand together we bring a considerable amount of talent and fortitude.  

We see one another for who we really are, the truly good, bad and ugly.  But we are sisters, and may the Lord have mercy on those who try to come between us!