I know I've written about each of my brothers, more than once, but I've been reminded lately just how good it is for me to have brothers, and just how thankful I am for them.
I was 8 before I had any sisters, and once I did have a sister, she was so much younger than me that it wasn't the same as what I had always dreamed. I always wanted a twin sister, or at least one close to my age, because when I was little it seemed that so often all the boys would gang up on me, and I was all alone. But even the times when I felt I was the only girl around were far outweighed by the many amazingly fun times I had with my brothers. And because I was the only girl I got the special roles in our games -- like the squaw when we played indians, or the mother when we played house, or the 'lost girl' when we played lost boys and girls.
Living with mostly brothers gives you way different expectations than if you live with mostly sisters. Although my brothers are definitely not 'typical boys', and although I didn't think about this much when I was younger, there certainly was a little bit of a competition to be tough. I was not a tomboy, but I grew up playing outside, climbing trees, and running around barefoot just as much as my brothers. So having few female companions to play with, I learned to play by myself when it was games that the boys didn't like, and to play the boy games with them when it was games that I liked.
Although I always loved princess things, and fancy clothes, there was a certain disdain in our household for barbies and the like. Because my mom has never much been into make-up, or nail polish, or all the various 'girly' things that most women are into, and because my brothers were rather disgusted with most of those things, I grew up with somewhat of a desire to do those kind of things, but would never have done so with my brothers around. In some ways, I wish some of that had been different. But I realize now that I am a lot less concerned with most of those things than a lot of girls, and so I am thankful. I am still extremely girly, but I am not as bothered by many things that girls are often bothered by.
But what I like even more than that different perspective you have when you live in a house full of boys, is the fact that I have practically a whole band of bodyguards with me all the time. Sure, they make fun of me, or they do things to annoy me (as I do back to them) but if I am with them, I know that they would never hesitate a moment to protect me. And their compliments to me, though they are probably fewer than a sister might give, mean more to me than a sister's probably would.
I still think it would be awesome to have a sister, either older than me, or close to my age. I often wonder if I would not have quite so many emotional highs and lows if I had a girl close to me who I could talk to. : ) (That's what my mom is for!) I'm not saying that in any circumstance brothers are always better than sisters, or that it's better for a girl to have only brothers and no sisters. I just think God knew what he was doing. And I think my brothers are pretty cool.