You’re 40. 40. 40. (I can’t type with echoing effect, but that was meant to echo in your head as it settled in your brain that yes, indeed, you are 40).
And to think we used to dissolve in a puddle of disbelieving giggles when the show Thirtysomething would come on. We’d look at each other and exclaim, “30! That’s so old!” Well, dear sister, according to that logic, you must be ancient.
Except that you’re totally not. Except maybe in the wise advice you give me because sometimes your advice seems to channel a very wise old being inside of you because surely someone as young as you could not possibly be so wise! (Yet you are.)
Other than that (and the few gray hairs I lovingly pointed out to you a few weeks ago), you don’t seem a day over 16 (or 20 or 25 or whatever your magic age was) cause you’re still my sister. And I still adore you. And I still want to be just like you when I grow up.
I remember being little and thinking that if there was one thing in the world I wanted to be it was a big sister. Not so much because I’d really thought it through and thought about what all that might entail. Like having a shadow follow me around day and night. Or having someone beg to borrow my clothes or fix my hair. Or having someone in my life that I’d have to drive around til she could get her own license. I definitely didn’t think about having to share a phone or shampoo with a younger person. I surely didn’t think about having someone younger than me make silly mistakes and having to try to save her from herself on many a near occasion. And good gracious, I never considered the prospect of having a younger sibling only for it to turn out to be (gasp) a boy! Nope, none of those things crossed my mind. I just wanted to be a big sister because you made the job look so cool.
You shared your toys. You shared your friends. You shared the phone. You shared your car. You shared advice. You shared your life. You invited me in and held me close. For all those years. For all these years.
Our relationship evolved over time. We were always friends. Best friends. There’s hardly a memory in my mind that doesn’t involve you. But life changes and sometimes life changes people. Yet our relationship, though changed, has only gotten better.
Then we journeyed the path of pregnancy together. What joy to have you beside me, wailing about morning sickness together, giggling over round belly bumps together, delighting to feel life inside of ourselves together. We brought babies into this world 7 weeks apart and we journey that trail together every day. We share our triumphs, our struggles, our joys, our frustrations. There is no one I’d rather share it with.
But I still haven’t shared with you my 40 reasons. My 40 reasons why I LOVE the chance to celebrate YOU on this special day…
- You rock the words “big sister”.
- You listen.
- You have incredible hair.
- You make delicious cupcakes.
- You always know just the right thing to say.
- You treat my kids as if they’re your own.
- You ask me how my day has been and really want to know.
- You drove an electric blue car and looked cute doing it.
- You get me.
- You always invited me to tag along with you and your friends.
- You watched Anne of Green Gables with me millions of times but told me our life wasn’t complete unless we read the books, too (you were right).
- You shared your Barbie house with the elevator with me.
- You logically convinced me that I needed to push the wagon while you sat all comfy so you could steer.
- You invited me to stay at your apartment time after time after time during my college years.
- You made wedding favors with me without a single complaint.
- You respect my fears.
- You encouraged me to put my arms up when we went down the big hills on the roller coasters.
- You never told on me when I ate more mini-candy bars out of Grandma’s candy bar stash than I was supposed to.
- You convinced me (or did I convince you?) that duct taping my bra cups to myself for prom was a good idea (which, in theory, it was…nothing popped out that night; the removal, however, well, that was a painful story). And you were kind enough to help me rip it off after.
- You call me just to hear my voice (you know I do the same thing, too, right?)
- You support me no matter what insane idea I come up with (or what dorky outfit I wear).
- You didn’t hold a grudge for long when I shut the trunk on your head (I promise it was an accident…like a natural reflex).
- You shared Marley with me.
- You visit us even though the humidity makes you want to scream.
- You aren’t afraid to get out in the Texas heat and work up a sweat while we get the kids out in nature.
- You are willing to drive 4 hours just to surprise my kid on his birthday.
- You like my cooking.
- You knew me before I was wife, before I was mother. That makes it feel a bit like we knew each other in another lifetime.
- You are privy to my secrets which essentially means you are my secret keeper.
- You actually chose to hang out with me when you could have been doing way more exciting things. All throughout your life.
- You were the shoulder I cried on. Whether it was when I fell off my bike or fell in a trash can (oh wait, I think I only cried then because we laughed so hard) or got my heart broken, you were there. To listen. To hug me. To be my friend.
- You strapped me to the back of your bike in the days before you had a car so that I could tag along with you (now that’s love).
- You snuggled with me when I was little and we were at Grandma’s and I was scared.
- You climbed in my crib with me when I was a baby to comfort me when I cried.
- You infuse my life with hope, reason, and gratitude when I feel down.
- You are incredibly fashionable (and extremely forgiving that I am not).
- You encourage me.
- You talk reason when I talk crazy.
- You like pink. And purple. And boots.
- You make me want to be a better person.
I’d like to think that your life was empty for the 4 years before I arrived, but the truth is, my life would be empty without a sister like you…”I thank my God always when I remember you in my prayers.” Philemon 1:4
I love you,