I remember a lot of things about our childhood, but more than anything I remember you looking out for me.
We were normal kids. We argued and we pinched each other and we took what didn’t belong to us and we definitely both tattled our fair share. Okay, I admit I tattled the most. But more than anything, I remember you looking out for me. If we were climbing trees, you would help me climb a little higher. If we were in the pool, you would stay in a little longer even though you’d been ready to get out for thirty minutes. If I got hurt, [which was a lot – I’m still so clumsy] you would comfort me until Mama got there to take over the comforting. If we were imagining, you would let me pretend to be a dog or baby, even though it irritated the mess out of you. This was all of course before you started middle school.
I hated middle school. Or maybe I just hated growing up. As soon as you started middle school I became a pest in your eyes. I wasn’t allowed in your room when you had friends over. You stopped climbing trees with me. You didn’t want to play mermaids with me anymore, you just wanted a tan.
We both kept growing up and growing into little women. The ultimate change in our relationship came when I was 12 and you were 17 and announced your pregnancy. I had such mixed feelings about it and ultimately didn’t understand the situation at all. But once that little girl arrived, of course I loved her dearly. Watching you become a mom was insane and unfortunately I don’t fully remember what that first year was like when you stayed home with Kaitlyn before you and Bryan got married. But since then you’ve had another kid and gone through phases in parenthood. You’ve come out of the fire as an incredible mother. You’re so patient with those kids. I watch you with them and sometimes think, “Oop, they shouldn’t have said that. She’s gonna blow!” But you usually don’t. You respond in love and firmness. I hope I can be that way. You do everything with them and for them and give them so much and more. These children are not without. I hope they know how lucky they are.
One of my favorite things about you, which is a rare quality, is that you do not complain. Like, ever. Even when you get a regular migraine, you’ll just state the fact that you have a migraine and then go about your business as much as you can. You don’t complain when things go wrong, even if you’re entitled to it. And that’s just it. You’ve struggled through so much and survived so much that you see every little thing as a gift. You don’t take anything for granted. But you also don’t take anything too seriously. You have a very light hearted way of looking at life. You love your husband greatly but you’re not hard on him or your marriage. You’re silly when you need to be silly and serious when you need to be serious. But I’ve never had to tell you to lighten up.
Your voice calms me. If I’m stressed or hurt or tired or confused, you can just say that you’re sorry or you understand and it genuinely relieves so much tension in my heart and mind just by the sound of you voice. That has nothing to do with the care and advice you do give. Which is golden in and of itself.
I hate living far away from you. It tears me apart when I can’t cuddle with you and play with your hair and make your troubles go away. I also hate that I’m so bad at communication. I see other people text their sister daily or talk to her daily and I think, “Well, I love my sister too!” I just suck at calling. And I respond when people text me but rarely text them first. I don’t ever wanna be that ‘out of sight – out of mind’ kind of person. And I don’t ever want to take you for granted. You deserve better. I’m so lucky to have you.
I love you.