It’s the big one. I’m officially old. Practically ancient and decrepit, I’m only a few short years from being set adrift on my own personal ice floe. One foot in the grave. I’m pretty sure I found a gray hair this morning. I’ll probably go bald, too. That happens to women, sometimes, you know. I’m definitely a spinster at this point, and I’m pretty sure I’m going senile.
What? My birthday? No, don’t be silly, that’s not for months. My birthday hearkens the return of flowers. Also, no, I’m not being over-dramatic here. You are. No, you are. I know you are, but what am I?
Cue the Sad Violin.
It’s my baby sister’s 19th Birthday. Nineteen. She’s able to vote. Well, ok, she could do that last year, But Still! She’s living on her own in the far-away Ottawaland, having to scavenge for her own food and beverage in the not-quite-arctic-tundra of University Residentia. She’s stopped thinking that boys are icky, probably. She attends classes at an institute of higher learning. She is officially able to purchase alcohol anywhere in Canada. She’s an adult.
She was born when I was in Senior Kindergarten. I was a great big sister right from the start. When my teacher asked me what my new baby sister’s name was, I, already deeply attached to the girl, answered, “Dooor… something… something like door. But… not. I don’t know. Can I play in the lego area?”
I taught her valuable lessons along the way. Affectionate older-sisterly lessons like,
“Don’t lie down in the middle of the road while I’m riding my bike towards you, because you will be run over. See, I wasn’t bluffing.”
And … well… off the top of my head, I can’t think of anything else that fits here. Still. I was a part of her education.
In return, she taught me valuable lessons like,
“If your demon-spawn baby sister comes up to you, looking completely innocent and cute, and wants to give you a hug, it’s actually in order to bite you on the face.“
“If you chop off your bangs, and all the hair along the part in the top of your hair, right down to a buzz-cut… twice … our hairdresser will actually get out the electric razor and start prepping your hair for being an all-over buzz-cut. And it really seems like he isn’t bluffing.” That was definitely not the best look for her, even if she avoided getting the full buzz-cut.
I remember reading the Harry Potter books to her… Aloud. With voices. We learned together that Hermione wasn’t pronounced how it was spelled.
She actually enjoys going on walks with me. I don’t even have to bribe her, most of the time.
When she was really little (in real life, not just in my mind), her teacher asked them to draw someone they cared for. While all the other kids drew spider-blob-people or block-blob-people representative of their parents, she drew a surprisingly detailed and identifyable picture of her babysitter. Having finished the front (curly hair and all) before the aloted time was up, she turned the page over, and did the woman’s back, too (typical hands-in-back-pockets-of-her-jeans stance and all).
She makes art. Artistic art, and always has. At the age when I was drawing super-creepy-spider-people with no neck and spindly arms and legs protruding at unnatural angles from their bloated torsos, she was drawing relatively proportional not-scary people whose eyes were in the right part of their heads, and the same size as each other. She’s in art school now, and the piece she gave me for my last birthday will be the basis for all decoration in a room of my future-house.
A woman came to our front door trying to sell something, and my sister politely turned her down. As the woman was walking away, she told the woman, “Be Safe.” Like she was sending the woman out into the zombie-apocalypse-wasteland.
She and her friends were once spat upon by a silver mime.
All in all, she’s pretty kickass.
I look at her, and I still see her at 5, 8, 10… maybe 15… sometimes. But she isn’t – she’s a young woman, and all grown up. Holy cow, I feel old.