Silver Linings

by Emilie Difede, age 17
Silver Linings Emilie is a junior in high school. She enjoys reading and writing in both English and Spanish. She loves to travel and learn about other languages and cultures. She runs cross country and track for her school and in her free time she enjoys running, hiking and surfing.

“Spending this past month with my sisters has made me realize how lucky I am to have them.”

I am quarantined with my mom, my dad, and my triplet little sisters. Sounds a bit chaotic, doesn’t it? Two adults and four girls stuck all day in a not very big house. I used to think the universe was plotting against me by giving me triplet younger sisters. Why me? The odds of triplets are about 1 in 9000 and I was the one who ended up being their older sister. But although I haven’t always realized it, my sisters were the best thing that ever happened to me. Over the past few years, I forgot how lucky I was to be that 1 in 9000. It took being quarantined with them to make me realize once again how lucky I am to have them. Sometimes it takes going through hard times to realize how lucky you are. If the pandemic and staying home have taught me one thing, it’s that nothing is all bad. Everything has a silver lining. Although I lost some things when we were quarantined and my day to day life was put on hold, I gained so much more. I’ve gotten to spend more time with my family and now have a deeper appreciation for family and for sisterhood. With my sisters, I could never be alone, even in isolation.

When we were in elementary school, my sisters and I were inseparable. We went to the same school, and sometimes they would escape the kindergarteners’ area and sneak over to the big play structure so they could play with me and my friends. Every day I was in charge of walking them home from school. They were wanderers, so I would tell them to get in a line, hold hands, and follow me. It was like I was the mother goose and they were my little chicklings. When we got home, we would play pretend school. I would set up a fake classroom with our dolls and our chalkboard and pretend to be their teacher. We also had a play kitchen my grandpa made us out of wood. We would bake fake cakes and have pretend tea parties. We drew flowers and fairies with chalk on the sidewalk in front of our house.  We played hide and seek and we played games in our backyard.

But then we got older. One day we no longer went to the same school. I went off to middle school and left them behind. Every day I went to school and then after school I would go to soccer practice and do homework. I no longer walked my sisters home from school. We no longer played together after school. We no longer had tea parties or drew with chalk on the sidewalk in front of our house. With every day, with every month, with every year that passed by, our lives grew further and further apart. As my sisters grew into annoying tweens, I began to see my triplet sisters as more of a curse than a blessing. 

So when the quarantine began, I dreaded the coming months. I saw staying at home with just my parents and my sisters as a nightmare. But it turned out to not be such a nightmare, despite the things that were canceled and everything I lost, I gained so much. We gained a stronger sense of family togetherness. Spending this past month with my sisters has made me realize how lucky I am to have them. Often family and sisterhood are things that are just taken for granted, and with our busy lives, we often don’t stop to enjoy and appreciate these things. 

Now that our schools are closed, I feel like we’re little kids playing school once again. Every day I teach them math and help them with their homework, I am their pretend teacher once again. We bake often, this time for real, not in our wooden play kitchen. We make cakes and muffins and we even made ice cream. We play soccer in our backyard. We have picnics that remind me of the pretend tea parties we would have as small children. 

When you’re in quarantine, everyday life is more simple, the days seem to sort of just blend together. To many, that might sound like a bad and boring way of life. And I saw it that way at first, too. But then I realized that with my sisters, even quarantine has its bright sides. Even the plainest of days are fun with them. My new day to day life is much different than it was before, but I’ve found happiness and joy within this new way of life. I feel like a little kid again. My days are filled with pretend school, baking, tea parties, picnics, playing games, painting the sidewalk with chalk, laying in the grass, and long walks. This life is plain and child-like, yes, but happy nonetheless. You can find joy in even the worst situations. 

I’m not going to say our quarantine is all sunsets and daisies. My sisters and I have our fights. Fights that usually end up in sixteen flailing arms and legs and some bruises. Always about the stupidest things like who gets the last scoop of ice cream left in the bin. There’s no doubt about it; my triplet sisters are triple the chaos. But I have learned to love the chaos. And in the end, despite our conflicts, they will always be there for me and I will always be there for them. I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love my sisters, and I couldn’t survive quarantine, or the rest of my life, without them. 

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