I received a phone call this afternoon which brought some lovely news. My gorgeous niece was elected Vice Captain of her primary school, this was on top of her receiving a credit in a University sponsored competition and a Merit Award for Outstanding Effort in English. Yes that would be a proud Aunty vibe you're picking up on, very perceptive :) As proud as I am of my gorgeous niece this post is actually about the woman who birthed and is doing a magnificent job of raising a strong, proud, confident daughter - my sister.
Growing up my sister and I had a fairly adversarial relationship, in fact her first day home from hospital I bit her. Not exactly a kodak family moment but that pretty much set the tone for the next few decades. We are very much the opposite ends of the family gene pool, she is as cautious as I am reckless, she is unthinkingly giving whilst I am a closed book, she was the good daughter whilst I was the wild child, I left home at 17 whilst she still goes home for holidays. I think it's fair that our relationship was a duty one and we had very little to do with each other voluntarily once we became adults.
In hindsight she did try and reach out to me when my train wreck of a marriage ended but I was too emotionally exhausted to even realise. We floated along for the next few years and then when the midgets were born we started to tentatively explore a relationship as adults. It smouldered until we both got on Facebook. Funnily enough we could keep in contact a lot more easily and we both got a sense of who the other was and I have to say that I have done her a serious disservice for all these years because as a person she's pretty spectacular.
The very things that annoyed me as we were growing up are the qualities I now admire in her. She is loyal, loving and generous. A school teacher by profession she is one of those teachers that parents love because they know she teaches because she longs to educate. For children she is the teacher they remember fondly as they look back on their school days.
For me she's my friend who just happens to be my sister. Suprisingly though she hasn't changed at all, she's always been this amazing girl/woman but I had to change my perspective to truly appreciate her.
Sometimes you need to tip your world off its' axis to gain a fresh perspective. Sometimes it isn't them it's you.