Thursday, July 9, 2009

The June Sisters?

My birthday has always been strange because my sister and I are almost like twins. Not real twins – we are three years apart in age. Three years and one day apart to be exact. Her birthday is the day after mine in June. This actually required a lot of planning on her part, as she came into the world six weeks early, her lungs still not quite developed. Knowing my sister, I’m sure she cared much more about being born as close to my birthday as possible, than actually breathing. I’m kidding. Sort of.

Growing up, my sister always knew how to push my buttons on my birthday. She’d spend the entire day on my birthday talking about how many hours, minutes, and seconds it was until her birthday the next day. It kind of put of a damper on any birthday attention I might be getting, which was, of course, her point. And if you think my poor mother had it easy by having two girls with birthdays so close together, think again. We could never share cakes, or parties, or birthday dinners because whatever I wanted she would automatically want the opposite, and vice versa.

And this is where The September Sisters and my life intersect just a bit. The September Sisters is entirely a work of fiction, but I did pull this one little birthday tidbit from my own life and put into the book. In the book, sisters Abby and Becky are two years and one day apart, with their birthdays being in September, hence why their mother calls them The September Sisters. And true to my own life, this only intensifies their sibling rivalry.

Of course, in the book, Becky disappears; my sister did not. (And, for the record, my mother never called us the June sisters either.) But in real life my sister and I got to do something Becky and Abby don’t in the book – grow up. That’s right, at a certain point, when we were in our twenties, we actually stopped hating each other and fighting, and we sort of began to think it was cool that our birthdays were so close, that we had someone to share a birthday with. And now, even though we live 3000 miles away and barely see each other, our birthdays are one occasion when we try to always get together.

Some things haven’t changed, though. We still have to get two separate cakes. I mean, come on, you couldn’t really expect us to compromise on something that important, could you?


Lisa Patton said...

One cake for two sisters? Heavens no. Great little story, Jill. 3000 miles away? Where does your sister live?

Jillian Cantor said...

Thanks, Lisa. She lives in Florida -- all the way across the country from me :-)

Tracy Madison said...

I have three kids born three days apart. Oh, and my oldest of these three shares a birthday with my brother. We always have separate, yep, I get it. :)

Great post, Jillian!

Maureen Lipinski said...

When I was 9 months pregnant, my sister forbade me from going into labor on her birthday because, according to her, it would steal her thunder for the rest of her life.

Lesley Livingston said...

I remember thinking how vivid your description was of this same situation in TSS. I guess having livid it makes for some truly awesome versimilitude! :-)