When I was nine years old my little sister was born. Today is her 28th birthday. I remember vividly the day that she was born. My grandmother took me to the hospital to see my parents and new little sister. We waited in the waiting room for a while and finally my dad (he wasn’t the Preacher yet) came out and said that she had arrived.
My mother had to have a C-section, so she was out of it for a while. When the nurses rolled my sister out in the little incubator thing, we all went over to have a look at the little angel. She was wrinkly and pale with blue eyes and a tuft of blond hair. As I looked at her I began to get physically ill. I tell her this to pick on her and as a sisterly jab, but according to my family I had been sick for a few days before her birth. But when I saw her and immediately turned green, I thought it was because she was just gross and I wanted to know if we could return her.
Over the years I grew to love her even though it was a big adjustment going from being an only child to a big sister. When she was five I gave her the nickname “Brat” and later “Little Boxer” because she loved to beat up on me even though I was older and bigger than her.
Right before my 18th birthday I moved out of my parents’ house. Looking back I realize that it wasn’t easy for her. She was only 9 and probably felt like she was losing her big sister. I was on the verge of a new life and my family wasn’t exactly at the top of my priority list at the time. I just wanted out and away from the Preacher.
Being the oldest by nine years, my parents were the strictest with me. They loosened up the reigns on her once I moved out and especially after I moved to NYC and disappeared for six months. I like to think that through my stupidity and stubbornness she gained more freedom.
The older we get the closer she and I become. I can’t imagine not having my little sis to talk to about things that I can’t talk to anyone else about. She’s my confidant, friend, and guide. She’s more grounded than I am most of the time, and she’s really good at helping me realize when I’m being overly dramatic or just plain stupid about things. She’s a straight-shooting, quick-witted, smart, funny, and beautiful woman. It feels weird calling her a woman, but she’s not the little kid who used to beat me up anymore.
So for her birthday I would like to give her the gift of forgiveness. I forgive her for cutting my Barbie’s hair, for painting my Cabbage Patch dolls’ nonexistent fingernails, for beating me up when she was five, for starting fights with me and then getting me in trouble for defending myself, and for letting her dog bite me when she was thirteen. I gotta love her!
Happy birthday little sis!