Let me start by saying that I’ve been blessed to have grown up as the older sister of many awesome siblings. Having a big family and getting to not only be a role model but also watch my siblings grow up and make their own choices has been a really incredible experience that, for all of its constituent headaches and heartaches, I wouldn’t trade for anything.
This is especially true when it comes to my sister Ariel, who, of all of my siblings, is the only other product of both my mother and my father. Ariel, who I had the privilege, at three years old, to name after my then-favorite Disney princess, is my best friend and, though I’m not her mother, my pride and joy.
We’ve quit karate, Hebrew school, and tennis lessons together. We’ve done drama, and we’ve been dramatic. We’ve dealt with divorce, remarriage, and the rapid growth of our family tree into, as my dad puts it, a “family forest.”
Ariel was the only sibling who knew all of the rules of the games of make-believe over which I presided and which of those rules applied on a “Mom’s house weekend” or a “Dad’s house weekend.” She knew that when we got a salad at a restaurant that I had first dibs on her tomatoes and she had first dibs on my olives.
She copied the hell out of me (to my eternal fury and also my pride).
And so I was absolutely devastated when she started copying my ED. It was one of the major events that actually shocked me back into eating in 2002. Knowing that my little sister, whose pudgy cheeks were part of her charm, was suddenly becoming a gaunt, withdrawn ghost, was enough to make me understand the seriousness of ED’s destructive forces.
My sister is my life. I don’t think I would be as strong as I am today if I didn’t have her around–to make Steak-Umms and tortellini for, to get into screaming matches with, to put the dogs in bras and make Victoria’s Puppies magazines for our mother with, to teach, to learn from, to call on the phone every weekend and not even have to say what I’m thinking to already know that she understands….
All of that said to introduce you to today’s Finding Our Hunger Podcast guest.
My sister, my life, and one of the strongest ladies I know, whether she realizes it or not: Ariel.