I have 3 siblings - one sister and two brothers. One of my brothers is 20 months older than I am. He and his family are currently living in Florida but will be moving to Texas soon. My sister is four years younger. She and her family currently live in the same town as I do. And I have a younger brother who is 10 years younger than I am. He lives with his wife in Ogden, Utah.
My older brother and I were close for most of the time that I was growing up. We were close in age, and there were few girls in the neighborhood, so I learned to love football, cars, legos, and Stratego. And then when I had just turned 4, here this other girl shows up. (I swear I don't remember my mom ever being pregnant. Just coming into my parents' room one day and there was a BABY laying on the bed.)
I was less than thrilled about her arrival. At one point when she was just a few months old, I picked her up out of the cradle, and then took her to my mom. By dragging her by one of her feet.
I embarrassed to say that my treatment of her didn't improve much over the next few years. My brother and I would play all sorts of pranks on her, and would do things that we knew would probably make her cry. (Sorry Lisa!)
Then, she had the audacity to be REALLY annoying too. She always wanted the hall light on and the door open, and I wanted it dark and the door shut. She was uh, not neat, and I wanted everything perfect. She liked Barbies. And Dolls. She was the typical "want to hang out with the older kids" younger sister, and it drove me crazy. We fought and fought and fought. We fought so much that my dad had to build a room in the basement so that he could separate us.
And then when she got to be a teenager, she got me back. We won't go into details, o.k.?? But needless to say, we weren't exactly friends. She was my sister, and I knew I was supposed to love her, but UGH.
Around this point, my parents moved to Illinois and my younger brother came with them because he was still living at home. After about 6 months, I decided to move back home so that I could finish my undergraduate degree. A year later, my sister moved back.
Somewhere during that time that we were apart, we both became normal people. I could now see what a wonderful person that my sister was. I LIKED being around her. She made me laugh. I could talk to her when I knew that no one else would understand.
After a couple more years, I got married and moved to Chicago and then Springfield. Then my sister got married. I decided to move back to this town and through some strange twist of fate, we both ended up buying a condo at the same complex, in the same building, and she lived right above me. She had just had her first, and I was 6 months pregnant with Flower. It was so wonderful to be able to have someone SO close, both physically and family-wise, who was going through the same sort of thing. We lived close enough that one couple could run out and just leave the baby monitor with the other couple and you wouldn't have to leave your own place unless the baby woke up. We lived in this upstairs/downstairs arrangement until we had/were pregnant with our 2nd babies. And then she moved, first to Peoria, then to Utah, and then to Ohio. And then she said she was moving back. By this point, we had moved into our home. And when they moved back here, they rented a house that was a block away! They've since moved across town, but it is still only a 10 minute drive away. Plus with us co-homeschooling, I see her and most of her children every day!
Now, when I was 13 years, did I ever envision that 30 years later, I would CHOOSE to spend every day with my sister??? That I would actually have a good time on a regular basis with my sister??? That I would come to want to emulate many of her qualities??? Uh, that would be NO.
But thankfully, gratefully, we have had the opportunity to become friends as adults. I have wondered on more than one occasion what our relationship would be like if she hadn't moved back as a young adult. We may have been cordial. I probably would have realized that she was not the annoying sister that would steal my clothes, but I wouldn't have realized what a good person she is - so caring, such a good listener, and such a great capacity to love her family. Including me.
Happy Birthday Lisa! I hope that this is a GREAT year.
Your Favorite Sister :)