I have an older sister. She's always been 2 years and 9 months older, if I recall correctly, until she stopped counting birthdays. Now she is younger by a few years. Her birthday is today and I believe she is 25... again. Happy Birthday, Sis!
(Andee and Nathaniel at the beach last Christmas)
I have mostly good memories with my sister growing up together. We played barbies in the huge mansions our dad made us under our bunk bed, listened to Adventures in Odyssey while going to sleep every night, played My Little Pony in the back of the Datsun pick-up all the way to California, and waited until our room was hazardous before we thought about cleaning it. The golden years ended when I was about 12 (read annoying). Oh, we fought, yelled, and screamed at each other! Sharing a room didn't help. I could not fathom how she could be so crazy about DC Talk and Michael W. Smith. Their music made me nauseous. It still does actually.
We moved into a new house and separate rooms when I was 12 and my sister was 15. I think the fighting lessoned at that point. Just don't bring up her most fantastically wonderful, triangle sleeve sweater that I got paint on or the white denim shorts that she charged me $3 per hour to borrow. By the time she left for college on the East Coast, I was ready to see her go. I had the place to myself. The bathroom we shared all to myself. Her CD player all to myself. It was good for about a month and then I missed her terribly. I recorded every episode of ER for her to watch and sent her cards and letters. I have some of the notes she sent back to me. I read them the other day and remembered the girls we were, growing into the women we would become.
Our lives veered in different directions when she got married in '99 and I was away at college in Canada. I remember talking to her on the pay phone in my dorm frequently. I was so young and naive and she had a husband! Somewhere along the way she became a wealth of information on boys and fashion. In a few years time, I caught up to her and got married too.
I promise we didn't plan it, that would just be weird, but we had our first babies just 5 weeks apart. Being pregnant together was not what I would call fun, but I'm glad we were. We didn't have any sympathy for one another, both claiming to be more miserable. Funny that we would both now agree that we had no idea what difficulty looked like. I saw a picture that was taken of the two of us at our joint baby shower, decidedly pregnant, looking uncomfortable and +100 extra pounds between the two of us. You could not pay me enough money to post that picture on my blog. Sorry folks. Some things do not need to be repeated.
Living near each other and parenting children of similar ages is a huge blessing in my life. I call my sister for all sorts of things these days from parenting tips to cooking questions. Sometimes I just need to whine and she lets me. No one understands me like she does because she knows it all. I think she even forgives me for being annoying. And the whole paint on the sweater thing. Now that I am the older sister, I am thinking of charging her to borrow some of my clothes. That would be fun. Or maybe I'll come up with some annoying nickname for her like she did to me (her children call me Auntie Snook). There has to be some price to pay for staying 25 forever.