My husband and I recently found out that we will be adding another sweet baby girl to our little family, and we couldn’t be happier. That being said, there was a slight (and I mean very slight) feeling of discontent at the discovery of our baby-in-utero’s presumed sex. The thought of having a baby boy was exciting because mothering a son is unknown to me, and my husband of course wants a son because, well, what dad doesn’t? On the other side of the spectrum, we can relax a little more now that we don’t have to worry about accumulating a bunch of new baby clothes and accessories, nor do we have to research things like the risks and benefits of circumcision or how to change a diaper without getting showered in urine. We are happy with the news we got that day, and all is fine in our world (at the moment/knock on wood).

When I spoke to my mother-in-law on the phone about the big news, however, I came to realize something far more important than any of the above. She told my husband and me that she was so, so happy that Lorelei was going to have a sister because having a sister (or multiple sisters as is her case) is incredibly special. I thought about what she said for a while. She was so right. The bond I have with my sister is kind of indescribable. The way we support each other, challenge each other, love each other, respect each other and accept each other is beyond understanding. There is nothing comparable to the bond shared between two girls who become women together; who share beds and clothes and parents and family gatherings; who unconditionally admire each other during their best and worst times; who always have the other’s best interest at heart despite past misunderstandings; who teach each other important life lessons, like how to be their best selves and how to be honest in all relationships; and who comfort each other during times of shared sadness and grief. I need my sister so much that he thought of losing her breaks me and literally brings me to tears (even as I type this), and thus the thought of giving a sister to my first daughter also brings me to tears, because she will now get to experience one of the most intense and rewarding relationships that life offers.

The passion between sisters is intensified by the relationship they have with their mother. A mother is a guiding force, a symbol of strength, love and ultimate selflessness. On my first official Mother’s Day after Lorelei was born, my sister gifted my mother and me a necklace that is a simple golden ring with smaller rings connected on each side, which in turn are connected to thin chains that are joined together by a clasp (see picture at the very beginning since I'm not very good at describing jewelry). She got herself one as well because it is meant to symbolize the way the three of us are connected (the bigger ring at the center symbolizes our mom and the smaller rings symbolize us). I wear this necklace daily so that I will never feel alone, and never forget how important our relationship is.

My sister and I have always been drawn to the comfort provided us by our mother. She has taught us so much about life and how to live it, and even though my sister and I lead very different lives we are all three connected in a way that is quite difficult to explain. We care very much what we all think about the decisions we all make because we thrive on the feeling we get when we are supported by each other, and we know that none of us would lead the others astray. Knowing that such a loving and caring support system is there for us when we need it is ridiculously comforting. I’m not afraid of bad days or difficult life challenges because I know both my mother and sister have my back and will go out of their way to help me, and I them. It’s rare to find friends like that, at least it was for me, and to grow up with that kind of trust shaped me as a wife and mother.

Having family members as my best friends (my dad included) is very life-affirming. I was given to my mother by God, or the universe, or whathaveyou; she didn’t choose me and I didn’t choose her, and my younger sister didn’t choose us either. And yet, we are all three perfect for each other because we shaped each other, and that kind of bond is irreplaceable. I will do my best to give my daughters what my mother gave my sister and me: a best girl friend, a love unknown to many, and a sense of belonging in a world that often seems very unforgiving.