Updated: Jan 19, 2018
I know there is strength in the differences between us. I know there is comfort where we overlap.”--Ani DiFranco
For all our lives Kelly and I have heard the same thing “Wow, you don’t even look like sisters!” And sure, I would agree with that. Our hair color and texture, our body shapes, our faces; completely different. As a kid, I was a round little meatball and my big sister was a long legged string bean. Our individuality didn’t stop at our looks. Kelly always kept busy and became bored easily. Today, Lee and I secretly wonder if she runs on a motor. I on the other hand dislike keeping busy and am rarely bored. Growing up, when we’d go camping, Kelly would lead our cousins on these elaborate hikes into the woods. Me? Pass! I would find a quiet spot and happily spend hours reading and napping. Because. Bugs. When Kelly and I shared a bedroom, our mom and dad referred to us as the odd couple, which undoubtedly meant I was Oscar and Kelly was Felix. So different.
Lee was born when I was 10 and Kelly was 15. While Lee doesn’t look like Kelly or me, there are more similarities between us. Back then my secret mission was to mold Lee into my very own Mini-Me. Finally, a sister who would play Barbies with me! Not quite. She, like Kelly, liked to build stuff and draw, and use her wild imagination. Eventually we bonded over our love of laughing at the ridiculous. Lee embraced the weird with me. We used to have a game called “I don’t want to smile like this” where we would make up the weirdest faces at each other, trying so hard to come up with a new one to try the get the other person to laugh out loud. I always won because I was older and she often recycled her faces (eyes up, to the right, tongue out was her “go to.”) On those occasions that she would get me, she would LOVE that she made me laugh. These days, she makes me laugh more than most people.
Still, Lee’s like a whole generation younger than Kelly and me! Couple that with her childhood being very different than ours for so many reasons, (different schools, and different neighborhood) and it's a wonder we have anything in common. These experiences shape who we are, and hers were so different than ours that I used to worry that we’d grow up and apart. But, the biggest difference between Lee and the two of us is….she loves sports. There are times when Kelly, our brother Harrison and I hear Lee talking to my dad about the Eagles when we just all shake our head and say “wow, where did she come from?” So very different.
We all came from the same place, but we’re all SO different. We’ve got the important stuff in common. We’re all hilarious. And humble. Haha Most importantly, we all love words. See, way before everyone began sticking vinyl quotes onto their walls, I painted the lyrics of some of my favorite songs all over my old bedroom walls. Kelly and I are both big on jotting down a quote that jumps out of a book or a song. Sometimes we get fancy and frame these quotes, but more often they’re just scribbled onto a post it note before we can forget them.
Then there’s Lee who is imaginative, artistic, and thoughtful. Once when I was pregnant with my first born, I mentioned in passing that a song made me think about the possibilities that life has for the taking for my baby. So, at my baby shower Lee presented me with this beautiful painting which still hangs in my son’s room today. There’s actually another song lyric so meaningful to Lee that she had it tattooed in my mother’s handwriting onto her body. Some words are too powerful for a post-it note.
Words are our thing. That’s our common thread. As sisters often do, the three of us speak our own language made up of quotes and references that no one else would get. Isn’t it the best feeling when you develop a connection with someone, or even a group of friends and you share a unique language or secret code words? When you can say two random words to someone and they know exactly how you feel, or what you think they need to hear that is the greatest thing. It's a sign that you are connected to each other in a way that you aren’t with anyone else. Through Brick House Sparrows, we hope to connect more women together through words, quotes and little bits of wisdom that we stumble upon that we just have to share.