My younger sister, Sonia Kashyap, is the world’s sweetest 15-year-old. She is spunky and full of life. Because she is six years younger than me, my bond with her is unique relative to my other relationships. She’s my youngest best friend. I try to lead by example for her and for my younger brother, Raj who is 18. So on Sunday, I asked her if I was a doing a good job. “I look up to you because of your ambition and drive. Also, your leadership skills,” she told me. I don’t think about being a role model. It isn’t always a conscious thought. That being said, I do make an intentional effort to maintain and live by my values and hope that she sees that. Knowing that she is proud of me brings a warm smile to my face. It’s uplifting to know that my hard work does not go unnoticed and that my talents are appreciated.
She is absolutely beautiful, and I’m pretty sure in about two years she is going to have to fight off every boy who sees her. Besides being the most flawless fifteen year old out there (seriously I don’t think she ever had any awkward years…so that’s fair), she is also a good person. She always supports me in everything I do and leaves the sweetest comments on my social media posts. She has a pure and kind heart.
BUT. Let’s be real. She’s a teenager, and often our six-year age difference results in a disconnect. We fight over stupid things like any pair of sisters. So, I asked her what about me she didn’t love. After narrowing down the 10 page list (just kidding), I realized what really bothered her the most was feeling excluded when our brother and I are together. Because my brother and I are closer in age, we connect on a different level. We can talk about and share similar experiences and often my sister gets left out of the loop. It isn’t exactly shocking to hear, but it does make me feel guilty. I know, as anyone does, what that feels like. I will certainly work on not only strengthening my relationship with her but also opening up our sibling circle to include her always.
We also talked about the fun stuff. What are we going to do together next? We plan projects often. Photo shoots, videos, arts and crafts, lunch dates, room renovations, and our favorite, packing. We are pro packers. We sit down together and rummage through the closets. We reference the weather app. We plan out every outfit head to toe, earrings to socks. We take pictures and listen to Beyoncé. Sunday, though, she was planning something bigger. She decided we needed to take an international trip together “like Monte Carlo (her favorite movie).” So, like Mary Kate and Ashley, we’ve decided to take over some romantic city one day. She’s allotted me three years to figure out all the details, so excuse me while I go check out travelocity.com and find a real job!