I have random memories from the early years of being an older sister.
Meredith was born when I was 5 years old. I vividly remember "helping" my dad plant purple flowers in the front yard flower beds, discussing what it would mean to be a big sister. I remember picking out her name on mom & dad's bed after we finished reading books before bedtime. I remember getting to stay up until after 9 p.m. waiting for my grandma to get the phone call that Meredith had finally arrived. Aaaaand then I remember making up a song & singing it softly to myself, hoping someone would hear my lament about feeling left out because of the baby. Probably because of this scene from Hook, actually. I was just a little bit dramatic.
I was 8 when Lissy arrived, & she was my baby. I should have clearer memories of her since I was older, but it's mostly just memories of constantly holding her. & combing her hair when she got out of the bath because you better believe we thought those curls were pure gold. I remember dressing her up in teeny little leotards & tights to "teach" her ballet. She was totally sassy.
Being an older sister to these girls hasn't always been easy. There have been months - years? - that we've had to relearn how to talk to each other. There have been hard times & distance. & we call those the they-were-pre-teens-&-I-was-an-angry-teenager years. I haven't always been a role model, & they definitely tried to drown at least two boyfriends in the family pool.
But being an older sister to these girls has always been simple. Simple because there has always been Love. Love with a capitol L because sister love is different than most other kinds of love. I know in my heart of hearts that they are some of the best human beings I've ever encountered. I can talk to them for hours - & I do. They are best friends, & I so admire their love & loyalty to each other. They make our family complete, & I can honestly say that I no longer write songs about feeling left out. *high five*
FYI, the next part is smooshy, gooey lovey.
Meredith, you are 19 & glowing. You exercise your middle name most perfectly every day in the grace that overflows into your very wise & very forgiving decisions. I'm actually really happy that your 18th year involved red hair & piercings, because you're exploring YOU & that's really exciting. You're beautiful, lady.
Lissy, I almost refuse to believe that you are 16. But you have 16 years of feisty going for you, & your passion shows through your dedication to the people & things you have around you. You are a curly ray of pretty sunshine, & your ability to quote How I Met Your Mother on demand is actually shocking. I'm proud of you for constantly being LISSY, no matter who or what.
& so, another February birthday week has passed, & I didn't cry. Well, actually, I teared up for like 4 seconds. I guess I'm getting to that age. Happy birthdays, ladies. I love love love you.