Friday, April 22, 2011

Happy Birthday Not So Little Sister

A sister is a gift to the heart, a friend to the spirit, a golden thread to the meaning of life.  ~Isadora James

In 3 short days, my once wittle sistah will be 19 years old. NINETEEN years old. I never paid much attention when "grown ups" said, "Oh they grow up so fast, where does the time go?" ALL the time in reference to all of us children. I couldn't WAIT to grow up! It was NOT passing by quickly enough for me.

And now I sit here thinking to myself, I'm nearly 30 years old, with a child of my own and a baby sister nearly a decade younger than me. She'll be off on her own this weekend with her very best friends living it up and celebrating that 19 year birthday. "Oh they grow up so fast, where does the time go?" is all I can think of right now.

When I became an "adult" at 18 years old and moved out my sister was very young and I would to come to visit or take her to the park and she was just fun, funny, young and innocent. She kept getting older each year and I kept as my baby sister. she was the one I'd call to check on and say hello but never really talk about the "real" stuff because she was my baby sister. As I got older every year and had my own child I realized everyone around me got older too. I hadn't given her enough credit.

I went through a very difficult time after I had Hayden. I moved my entire life back home and would sit and cry and think, "What is this? What have I done? How could this happen?" Who sat there with me through it all you ask? My sister. My baby sister who I didn't give any credit to before that very moment. She spent time with me, she talked to me, she held me, she was there for me. She grew up.

One day I had a bad day and my first thought was to call my sister, then I sat there thinking to myself, how unusual for her to be my first call. Then there I was again, at that moment; she grew up and was mature beyond her years. She was an adult. She knew exactly what needed to be done. She was wonderful with Hayden. She would hold him in the early morning hours so I could get some sleep from being exhausted all day with a new born baby. She fed him, cleaned him, played with him, loved him. She grew up.

Now don't get me wrong when I say that it's unusual for me to call my sister first, it's not that we aren't close but there is almost a decade between us. I don't care if it were a decade or 1 year, I don't buy the fairy tale that you don't fight with your siblings and that sometimes in life our friends came first and everything else in life is a distant second.

At a time in her young life when she could've patted me on the head and said I'm sorry sis, on her way out the door to be with friends and a boyfriend, she cancelled plans with friends and said I really need to hang with my sister tonight. More than she will ever know in a lifetime, I am most grateful to her for that time. She did a lot for me during that period of my life.

And now here we are, I have my head on straight, life is wonderful and my baby sister is another year older.

Sista, I couldn't be more lucky than to have you in my life. I'll never forget finding out mom was having a baby and running straight across the playground the very next day to tell all my friends a baby was on her way. That excitement has never left. Life isn't perfect, but it's perfect because you have been through it with me. I love you and hope that you enjoy every minute of your birthday this weekend and every birthday to come.

From boo boo's to softball senior night, broken hearts, graduation, loving and loss. I'm glad you are there by my side.