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I Have A Sister Wife And She's Incredible

It's a special sort of Big Love.

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A drawing depicting two sister wives with their arms around one another, as they each hold a glass of wine.
Karolin Schnoor
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I didn’t realize how badly I needed a sister wife until she moved across the street from me. Lauren and I met on a blind "friend" date years ago and have been friends ever since, but we never lived close enough to, say, serve our kids grilled cheese together on a regular basis. When a series of fortuitous events led her, her husband and their two young kids to a home within spit-up distance of ours, though (Read: I can watch her watching Game of Thrones in her living room from my front porch), everything changed. We became sister wives, or SWs for short.

No, we don’t wear our hair in long braids down our backs or share a husband, but we do tag team in pretty much every other respect. I’ll text her from Target to see if she needs anything; she wrangled my kids when I ran to the doctor to have my IUD inserted. I took her 2-year-old, Pack ’n Play ‪and all, at 10 one night when she was parenting solo and had to bring her baby to the ER; in exchange, she’s free to sneak into my house and swipe a La Croix whenever she runs dry. ‬‬‬

Still, I have plenty of girlfriends with whom I can talk for hours after work as we pay mild attention to our kids in the bounce house. So what sets SW apart from my other buddies, with whom I also drink and laugh and commiserate and play? There’s something about having her right there that brings me back to college, when so many of our friends were just one floor up in the dorm or across the campus mall or a few rooms down the hall of the sorority house.

You never had to worry about running out of computer paper or eating lunch alone because you always had someone nearby. With SW (yes, we’ve been known to sign off from our texts “XO, SW”), I have all that, and more; she’s a friend and confidante, yes, but she also feels so inherently part of my village, that ubiquitous entity that has become so much more crucial to my survival as I’ve moved from singleton to mother of two.

She has my back in a way that, simply due to logistics and geographical location, make her my go-to, and I, hers. Yes, that means she gets stuck grabbing my Amazon packages when we’re out of town, but it also means she’s first in line for my daughter’s hand-me-downs and she knows she can usually dump her kids on me if her child care falls through. I’m fond of all my friends, of course, and I know we can rely on each other through thick and thin, but I’ve got a special sort of Big Love for my sister wife.