Tevye, the Russian dairyman from Anatevka, proclaims proudly, but with a hint of exasperation , "I have five daughters!"
My father, you see, can closely relate. I am the oldest of his five daughters. No boys. Even our pets were (once) of the female persuasion. My father deserves to be both pitied and revered.
There is exactly ten years and one month between my youngest sister and me. My childhood consisted of frilly dresses, curling irons, barbie dolls, copious tears, emotional outbursts, hormonal breakdowns and vicious catfights. A couple of my sisters claim I was not the most loving and kindhearted of older siblings... something about chasing them around the house, pinning them down and torturing them in various manners. I don't remember any of that nonsense, of course. We were just siblings in every way siblings will be.
My sisters and I are now all adults and I believe they would agree wholeheartedly that we are, despite the rollercoaster of our childhood years together, each other's best friends. My youngest sister has been living abroad for awhile and recently returned home, so over the weekend, my father again had his five daughters in one place.
But isn't this a running blog, your raised eyebrows inquire?
Why yes, yes it is.
Now that I have all four siblings again within the firm grasp of my Oldest Child Control, I have convinced them of the fantastically terrific idea of running a marathon relay together this fall. It was met with a mostly enthusiastic response and although I am the one sibling who's considered "the runner", my sisters aren't couch potatoes by any means. However, I will have a little work to do as their personal coach/trainer. One sister has an old knee injury that will need to be reckoned with and another, although a talented tennis player in her youth, suffered shin splints recently after running three blocks around her house.
It may not be easy nor pretty, but years of catfights have toughened us into the strong and capable women we are.
Stay tuned, sports fans. If it goes well, it just might become a tradition.
Or, as Tevye would say, "Traditiiiiioooon! Tradition!"