So this is how the middle starts.
You’re the older the one, the mature sophisticate who can’t wait to meet up with her best friends and do what best friend early teens do, after Mom drops you off and goes down the list of horrible things that happen to children who don’t listen to their parents.
The two are about as opposite as sisters can be. While you’re making double plays in softball, she’s sitting in right field picking the dandelions and waving to Mom, brushing strands of hair away from her cute freckled nose with her over-sized mitt.
You don’t think too much of her while you’re away because she’s always around and she doesn’t understand the ways of a teen life just yet.
She stands by the door, waiting for you to come home so she has a friend because the dolls aren’t going to play themselves but you had a bad day and you think she’ll always be there to greet you, so not today.
That’s how it starts, when memories become a thing, and just when you think you two will be cards-on-the-holidays siblings, something cracks…
The younger look-a-like turns out to be less of an obligation and more like a friend.
She even kinda looks like one.
The months become years, and you find nothing compares to the time together because she’s the only one who understands your quirky sense of humor…
The kind of knowing humor that makes you not want to look into her eyes during a serious event, like church or anywhere you’re supposed to be quiet and respectful.
The kind of knowing sadness that comes from shared pain, like the loss of a pet and she was the only one who cried when you told her your good old boy was terminally ill and you thought your heart would burst.
Yep, she’s 2,000 miles away and your middle school best friends faded like they tend to do.
And she’s still there, growing older along with you, laughing about love handles and attempts at running and discussing good wines and good men.
You’re not sure when or how it happened, but she didn’t give up and it looks to be a fun adventure with her for years to come.
Happy Birthday Baby Sister, your bro-in-law & I love you lots.