Shout out to my little sister, who is turning 21 today! I still remember seeing her in the hospital, all red and funny-looking. Our pastor’s son had to pick me up so I could see her. I remember being told not to jump on mom. I was almost 2 and very enthusiastic. Mom was wearing a green housecoat with some Asian print which wore out a while ago. But back then it was pretty new.
I remember throwing all her stuffed animals out of her crib and blaming her. I remember when she was 3? and tried to copy me jumping over a ditch, fell in, and would have drowned if I hadn’t gotten help. I never ran faster. Mom cried. I remember when we were racing and she fell and broke her arm. She was 3; she cried. I remember when she was 6 and tried to copy me on the swings and broke her thumb; she cried a little less. I remember cheating at “Gumby” and realizing that in the end you don’t win because she refused to play at all.
I remember our stable of invisible horses. Our “gang” of stuffed animals who went on adventures after we’d been put to bed. Dad yelling at us to quiet down and go to sleep. The little town in the woods we built entirely out of sticks and such—with a no-string policy. Dressing up in our best outfits and having pizza once we were old enough to be left home alone together.
I remember talking about our “brother Eric” so we wouldn’t be scared when we were walking home together. He and his pit bull would have protected us…it’s a good thing he was out on probation after he seriously injured his martial arts instructor accidentally. I don’t know why we called him Eric.
I remember when she started working at the library, how we’d bet who could shelve fastest. How much she took care of Mom when I was off at college and Mom got sick. Teasing her about being our future dictator when she did so well in poli-sci & student government.
And now she’s 21, starting her senior year, and ready to take over the world.
(not to be outdone by my little sister, I get to celebrate my 23rd birthday this Saturday the 13th. Unfortunately, nobody likes you when you’re 23.)