My youngest sibling isn’t quite 18 years younger, just 16 and a half. What’s that like? Well, for starters, we grew up in different times and different situations. I grew up when my parents were in their late twenties and their thirties. She grew up when these same parents were in their mid-forties and fifties. We grew up in the same house, but it was in the middle of renovations that Mom told us about the pregnancy so my youngest sister never saw the house the way it was during my childhood.
We also went to the same school. This was a rural neigbourhood where everyone had six or ten children and families stayed on the old homestead for generations. I went to school with the youngest children of families. My baby sister went to school with the oldest children of the next generation.
So what difference does that make today now that we’re both adults over forty? It makes a difference when we talk about memories, when we discuss how our parents dealt with life, when we talk about our friends, when we talk about… Most of the time she seems more like a very familiar neighbour than a sister.