Monday, June 28, 2010

I Want to Grow Old With You

I realized today that I haven't yet written a whole lot about my amazing family and how blessed I am just to have been born into it. A good place to start would be with my sister.

With only 22 months between us, my big sis and I have shared so much. It's hard to even begin the story of us, to do it any justice at all. I suppose I should regale you with stories, memories or inside jokes. We've gotten ourselves into so many binds, and, God knows, we have had some fun!

When we were about 7 and 9, we filled some of those big pong-pong balloons with water and tried to carry them up the stairs to our dormer bedroom. Both of them burst on new carpet, and we had the grand idea of sucking up all the water with our mom's Electrolux. In high school, we dressed as Elvira and a farmer for a costume party and were the talk of the night when we arrived as the only revelers in costume. I once wrote a note berating her for not letting me tag along with her and her boyfriend to dance at Davlin Lake that made her cry so hard and so dramatically that it woke my parents in the middle of the night, but left me fast asleep in my bed.

While on our way to JJ's Pizza to "hang out" after a high school basketball game, my sister took a right turn too sharply and tore off the side of my parents' sedan. We can still laugh until we cry when we think of me walking down the sidewalk that night, my long hair free under a "doo-rag," to look for the side runner we'd lost in the mishap. Some random guy on the basketball court yelled, "Hey buddy! You a guy or a girl?...... Your piece is in the yard!"

We then made it through college together, suffered without each other while working in different cities in our early careers and grew closer than I ever thought possible. Our similarities were most evident after we both married redheads a mere ten weeks apart, bought houses five lots apart on the main street of our hometown, bought nearly identical dark green Honda vans and then proceeded to have three sets of children: my daughter born four months before hers, then her son born four months before mine and finally--a twist!--her second daughter born four months before my second son.

Having her as a fellow mother warrior has been unbelievable. Our kids are incredibly close. Kim and I are known for throwing theme parties for them at the drop of a hat, for swapping kids in identical vans to keep them happy, for marathon shopping trips that we've considered successful only because we've sprung ourselves and our six kids out of our houses.

We've often had fits of giggles, many times uncontrollably and inappropriately. We've fought, but not much. We've been there for every birth, every major milestone. We choose to hang out together because we're friends by choice. My sister is beautiful, kind, funny and, inherently, good. I knew I couldn't do her justice. And I haven't.

But my sister is one of my reasons. She is a blessing a million times over. I couldn't have picked a better sister had I tried. I'm not letting go of her. Ever.

You're stuck with me, sis, and there will be no end. I want to grow old with you.

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