About ‘Hey Little Sister’

I‘m a writer, and a cook (and the food editor for The Sister Project). I’m a wife, to a darling, irascible, brilliant, challenging husband. Last, but definitely not least, I am a mom, to a little sister, and her very, very patient big brother. Our daughter’s name means rock, and she is one: immovable, certain, strong. Her brother’s name means river, and he, too, lives up to it: he’s fluid, changing, usually, but not always, amenable. He’s pretty easy, and full of love for his sis. She’s a bit feistier.

As it happens, I spend an awful lot of time trying to help that little sister to be a good sister—though I’m not always sure I know how to do that, or even what it means…you see, I’m an only child. If I don’t know what a sister’s supposed to do or be, how in the world can I help her learn?

I imagine that I spent some portion of my life requesting a sibling, but gave up at some point along the line when it seemed unlikely to happen. When I was 17, my father died, and that was the one point in my adult life that I remember deeply craving the support of a sister, to help my mother (and me) navigate through grief.

While I may not have biological sisters, I’ve picked up some soul sisters along the way, throughout a life that’s taken me from New York, to Hollywood, and now (to the amusement of all who know me) to a farm in the Hudson Valley of New York State. My sisters-by-choice are my companions in the kitchen and in cahoots. Whether over cocktails, coffee or broadband connection, they keep me honest, providing patient company as I try to understand my life as a person, a parent, and in my own way, a sister. –Paige Smith Orloff, Autumn 2008

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