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Being Elsa to her Anna...or...What being the Older Sister Means to Me

Updated: Sep 17, 2023

When Disney's "Frozen" came out, Francie and I took our kiddos to go watch it. What we didn't know at the time was, while our own children loved the movie because it is obviously a great movie with catchy songs and of course, Olaf!, the theme of Sisterly Love would strike such a deep chord with us, with me having so many similarities with Elsa and Francie having so many similarities with Anna, that this would become our "THING." Our saying. Our Mantra, if you will.

When "Frozen 2" was released, we didn't even bother taking our children, Francie and I just went ourselves to the movies and sat together, hugging and crying, and Anna continued to follow Elsa, always believing in and encouraging her big sister, while Elsa followed her independence to save everything to make life better for her little sister. Once again, the sisters thought they had lost one another, and Francie and I cried so hard, feeling those feels, knowing what that would feel like if we no longer had the other to lean on, raise one another up, fight for one another, and love one another through it all.

As the older sister, there's this dynamic in a family that research has even proven exists...MOST older siblings feel this sense of needing to protect and parent the younger sibling. There's this sense of responsibility, whether put upon by parents or self, but none-the-less, the older sibling feels responsible to do the right thing, be a good role model, pave the way as best they can. When I look back at my childhood, I realize how lucky I am to have had the opportunity to have a reason to be MY best so that Francie had a reason to be HER best. And as an adult, I realize, I still get that opportunity. There are times I want to throw my hands in the air and just yell WHO CARES!!! But I know who sister cares. She still is looking at me to see how I will handle a situation. She will still follow me. And cheer me on. And wants me to do my best. Which is why I know, I need to BE my best, and DO my best. I owe that to her. She would never think I owe her anything. She would just continue to support me and love me. Just like I will always support and love her.

I am about two and a half years older than my sister, Francie. And I have some memories of life before Francie was born, but my most vivid memory is definitely of going to the hospital to see her after she was born. I remember back in those days the babies were put into the nursery and people could go view them by standing at the large windows and they would look in at all the babies. I remember being at the big windows with my dad and with my Grandma and Grandpa Harwick (my mom's parents) and I climbed up the little steps they had for children to climb up so they could look into the nursery. My Grandma pointed and said "There she is! That's your new sister, Francie!" I do remember I thought she was quite red, actually! And I remember she had hair! (My baby dolls didn't have hair like that!) And she was bundled up so snug! I remember I couldn't wait to hold her. And I just kept looking at her. And I do remember, quite distinctively, even though I didn't know what it meant then, I felt a sense of something big. I know now that feeling was that sense of responsibility. That feeling of huge, unconditional love. And that feeling that she was MY little sister, my new best friend.

I can not tell you the amount of lectures Francie and I were given growing up about how, as sister's, we needed to be best friends. And I think it's best I save that full lecture for a future blog post! But my parents were not wrong...sisters are one another's first best friends, and if done correctly, the best friend you have your whole life. And so often, as the older sister, I wanted to just hang out with MY friends, but I would have to take Francie with me, or at least, have responsibility over her so my friend group always had to be role models for her, as well. And, as I reflect on it now, I don't remember any of my high school friends every complaining about that. They all loved her and acted as adopted older sisters to her.

The Sisterhood Coaching isn't meant to take away from your own biological sisters. But, like my friends in high school that accepted the position of adopted role models, positive influences, and the older sister that will always be there for you, there are women here ready to protect you and serve you like a sister always will. Think of us as your reason to watch "Frozen". This isn't just a fact, when Francie first approached me about starting back into Life Coaching (because I had taken a hiatus) and explained this idea to me, it was more about her and I working together to strengthen each other, and in turn, empower women around us. To celebrate each others victories and raise up the women we meet in the same way. And when Francie and I get together, we sure have a freaking fun time together! And people draw from our energy! Because, well, we are actually quite hilarious!

I will always be her Elsa. And she will forever be my Anna. And we are always stronger, TOGETHER.

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