Snuffles are probably one of the weirdest, oldest, greatest things my family does. My sisters and I have Snuffled almost our entire lives to the point that it's an integral part of the relationship that we have.
What is a Snuffle, you ask? Well, originally it was a code name (coined by my sister Noelle) for a sisters-only party, no parents allowed. Over the years, its meaning has expanded to connote a variety of parent-free activities: singing to Disney songs in the car, watching silly videos on YouTube, playing video games, gathering on one sister’s bed and chatting during the early hours of the morning, and, of course, spending time on our secret Facebook group where we'd post nerdy memes and inside jokes. It’s gotten to the point where every “fun” thing we do together, as long as our parents aren't involved, is called a Snuffle.
Snuffling has produced a closeness between my sisters and I that wasn’t always there. Oh, we were always important to each other, but the Snuffle has changed the nature of our relationships. Before the Snuffle, there were times when we were just could only barely tolerate each others' presence. After the advent of the Snuffle, though, we look forward to spending time together a lot more. This has become especially true as I have graduated and left home for college, and our time together has become more and more scarce.
My sisters and I still haven’t lost the spirit of the Snuffle, however. Even though we’re apart for most of the year, we keep close—chatting on the phone when we have the time and texting through group texts when we don’t. And when I go home for Christmas and summer breaks, we have plenty of Snuffles to make up for my absence during the school year.
The important thing with inter-sibling closeness, I have found, is your perception of your siblings—or your children’s perception of their siblings. During the time in which a younger, more self-centered me saw my little sisters as pesky annoyances that I had to occasionally (and unfortunately) share space, clothes, and air with, it was difficult for me to be kind to them, let alone have close relationships with them. Now, after years of growing close through Snuffles, I see them as my closest friends, my comic relief from a stressful life as a college student, and my cheerleaders in many of the endeavors I undertake—and I’d be the same for each one of them in a heartbeat.
I think that every family needs their own form of Snuffle—whether parents are included or not. Snuffles are easier to pull of than they may sound. For my sisters and I, Snuffles simply entailed doing things that we all loved to do. In fact, it was our common interests that allowed my sisters and I to have Snuffles in the first place. They've been what's brought us closer not only as sisters but as friends as well. I wouldn’t trade my sisters for anything, and I can’t wait for the next time I see them. Odds are, there will be at least one memorable Snuffle to be had.