My sister and I weren't the best of friends growing up.
With six years separating us, we didn't have much in common.
My, how times have changed. Now that we're adults, we find that we sometimes have too much in common.
We frequently show up for family events wearing the same outfit, the same shoes, the same jewelry, and the same hairstyle. We make spaghetti for dinner on the same night. We married mechanics who turned out to be ranchers.
But that's not all. While the examples above are unintentional ways we are alike, we also tend to copy each other. We buy our kids the same coats. We buy the same brand of shoes. When one of us gets a new vacuum cleaner, the other is sure to follow with the same purchase. The same holds true for computers, cameras, furniture, and car seats.
As disturbing a trend as that may be, it's nothing compared to the way we have had children.
My sister had her firstborn, a son, on an October afternoon. Two years later, to the day, I had my firstborn, a son.
My sister had a daughter next, followed by the birth of my daughter, born on my sister's husband's birthday. All four children are brown eyed, dark haired, brown skinned kids who wear glasses, are musically inclined, and think their mom is the meanest mom ever.
Because I have always attempted to be different from my sister, I couldn't just leave it at that. My next child was a blue eyed blonde boy.
Nineteen months later, my sister produced a blue eyed blonde girl.
I've always attempted to have the last word, and I certainly did when my own blue eyed blonde girl was born a year later.
Now, the two little blue eyed blonde girls who defied genetic odds and perpetuated their mothers' freakish degree of sibling rivalry are the best of buddies.
They share giggles, toys, and hand-me-down clothes.
Now they are growing up too soon, no longer our babies, but always the babies of their families. One is now five; the other will soon be four. Their older brothers will soon turn 14 and 12. Their mothers are pausing for longer moments in the age defying makeup aisle.
Happy birthday, little girl. Sure wish we could be there help you celebrate.