My youngest daughter came home from school the other day with something called "My Hero Award." It contained a hand drawn picture of her sister and the following prose: "My sister is my hero because she's pretty, smart and loving to me sometimes. I love her."
At first, her older sister was not impressed by the "loving to me sometimes" phrase, but I explained to her that her sister was simply being brutally honest. I got her to agree that the statement was in fact accurate.
As the oldest child in my family, I never had a big sister to look up to. Frankly, it brought tears to my eyes when I saw the award. Sure, they fight, but when I see them on the couch, draped across one another as they watch "American Idol" together, I am reminded that their friendship will be lifelong, and hopefully offer both of them friendship, comfort and support..
I read somewhere once that the sibling relationship is often more influential in a child's life than the parent-child relationship because siblings spend so much time together. While we're working, cleaning and juggling our chaotic lives, they are talking, playing, and yes, sometimes fighting. But I hope someday they will each recognize just how lucky they each are to have a hero for a sister.
Amanda is the mom of two, a reporter for WRAL-TV and the author of several books including two on motherhood. Find her here on Mondays.