Plundering through the news sites this morning, I saw where a huge study had just been released that focused on why siblings are so different. I’ve always had my theories; turns out, I might have been right to some extent. I love it when that happens; mostly because it’s so rare.
There are three general concepts explained in the study and one of them is the Hyperbole Theory. It’s built on the idea that families have these neat little dynamics where siblings are compared and then the children “grow” into these labels. I can see how that could come to pass. Mom has these ideas of who my sister and I are. The foundation was put into place when we were really young. My sister was always the tomboy; she played softball when she was a kid, had no desire to wear make up and terrorized me. Overnight, she grew into beautiful creature and the whole tomboy theory was suddenly outgrown and cast aside. She was stubborn as a goat and remains so to this day. I love her dearly, but if it’s on her mind, it’s on her tongue. That’s just who she is.
With me, Mom has always said things like, “She’s the tenderhearted one” or “She’s the cook in the family”. How many mothers have said to their kids, “If you two don’t stop arguing, you’re going to cause me to have a nervous breakdown”? It never failed: that one declaration was all I needed to hear. Whatever it was my sister wanted that I had, I’d just give it to her to stop the argument. I didn’t know what a nervous breakdown was, but I sure didn’t want to know, either. Sis, on the other hand, lived to push the envelope. I don’t think I ever broke a curfew; little sis? Not so much. To her, curfews were just another unnecessary rule.
Ah…but here’s the beauty of genetics: my beautiful niece is her mother’s daughter. She’s confident, loving and as much a fireball as my sister. My mom is totally loving it! She always predicted this, too.
If there’s any flaw to the Hyperbole Theory, it’s that my sister and I sort of switched roles over the years. Everyone said my sister would be the one who’d stay single and answer to no one. I was the one, as Mom says, “…who has the 2.5 kids, driving to soccer practice and playing happy homemaker”. Things didn’t quite work out that way, but I’m still the cook in the family and my sister is still as outspoken as ever.