Sisters are a pretty incredible thing. If you had a sister growing up, count yourself blessed. If you didn't have a sister growing up, count yourself blessed. There are advantages and disadvantages. The advantages don't usually come until you're both out of high school and realize just how ridiculous you were growing up. I think God created sisters to help build character, make you learn to defend yourself in a fist fight, have a friend that lives at home with you, and have someone to steal clothes from...just a few of many reasons.
Sara and I weren't always the best of friends. We're two years apart. SHE'S THE OLDER ONE. Close enough in age that we wanted to do similar things, but far enough apart that it was lame to have your little or older sister tagging along. As far as stealing...ahem, borrowing...clothes goes, I always tried, but she's like 6 feet taller than me, so nothing ever fit. But I borrowed purses and hats and scarves and jewelry and backpacks. I'm pretty sure I returned all of it...probably. We were definitely the stereotypical childhood sisters. I was perfect. She was mean and bossy and wouldn't let me hang out with her or any of her friends. If you ask her, she might tell you that I was an obnoxious little sister...doing things like listening in on her phone conversations, saying stuff like "she's out on the porch holding hands with her boyfriend" when her real boyfriend called, hogging the dial-up modem so she couldn't call anybody while I chatted with David on ICQ (remember that?? Oh, the 90's), and dumping cold water on her while she was in the shower. But, she'd be lying. I never did any of that.
Here ARE some things I did...
One summer on a mission trip, Sara was taking a shower and I snuck in to scare her. The curtains were completely opaque, so I struck blindly and stabbed her in the eye with my finger. Her eye started bleeding, it was all an ordeal, and she looked like Rocky for about a month.
I snuck in the back of her car and hid in the floorboard while her and her boyfriend had the DTR talk in the front seats. So awkward and funny how serious 15-year olds can be.
About 2.7 seconds after Sara got her sweet sixteen present, a Chevy Cavalier, she backed into the youth pastor's car. I pointed and laughed and said, "Ohhhh, you're in SO much trouble." Truth is, yes she was driving, but I was messing with the radio and she kept telling me to leave it alone, but I really wanted to listen to WKMX, but nooooooo, she just had to–CRUNCH! Oh, Sara. That was a funny night.
I would get those bug exoskeletons that stick to trees in the Fall, whatever those things are, and put them all in her closet and bed and towels in the bathroom. Or, just up on her shoulder as we were walking into the church sanctuary on Sunday mornings.
If I was really mad at her in the pool, I would swim away and "accidentally" kick the ever living stew out of her. She would yell and cry to Mom and Dad, who would end up saying, "Ruth stop kicking your sister blah blah." And I'd be like, "She's the one that insists on swimming right next to me. I gotta have my space. I gotta be free."
We'd go hiking out in the woods a lot in the Fall and Winter and we'd wear these huge galoshes...which, as I type that word, I realize we said it wrong growing up...we called them "galoshers" which sounds way more like rubber boots than "galoshes." That just sounds like a toilet flushing. Anyway. There was this place in the woods we called The Mud Factory. Basically, just a huge pit of mud. It was very easy to get your boots stuck and if you were walking fast and then a boot got stuck, you'd keep on walking and pull your socked foot straight out of the boot and right into the mud. We probably did that at least twice a week. Mom would always say to help each other, but ha, it was too much fun to watch the other just stand there in misery. So, I never helped. But, she never helped either!!
Which leads me to what she did to ME...
She told me a giant, evil octopus lived under my bed. Which is why, to this day, I take a little jump to get into bed...so the tentacles won't grab me and suck me under.
She also told me that It the Clown lived in my closet.
She told me there was an unconnected hand that roamed the hallways at night and, if you listened closely, you could hear the pitter patter of fingertips dancing eerily at midnight. I tried to humanize it by naming it Mike. It helped.
One time, I was being a brat (by brat, I mean perfect angel) when Mom assigned me a 1-page essay to write for English. I walked into the kitchen and, "under my breath" but loud enough for Sara to hear, I said, "This sucks." (Sara, WHYYYYYYY??) She said, "Ruth, don't say that!" Of course, Mom comes in and says, "What did she say?" Sara told and I was then assigned a 50-page paper on Seeing Eye Dogs.
She used to tell me the names I came up with for our cats were stupid. Rainbow, Starlight Starbright, Rainbow Bright, Star all seemed like perfectly good names for cats. Oh, but yeah, her cat, Nappy, had a name that made people swoon at the mere sound of it. (We now name them normal things...like Flea, Bob, Buck, Grey Cat.)
She would turn the phone on and off when I was on the internet because if you did it enough times, it would disconnect the modem. (I would do the same to her, but that's beside the point.)
We were playing football in the front yard with some friends. It was supposed to be TAG FOOTBALL, but she took that to mean tackle. And tackle she did. Her knee directly on my tailbone. You'd think a hairline fracture wouldn't be a huge deal. On your fanny, it's a huge deal. I couldn't sit for weeks. I couldn't sleep on my back. It took me about an hour to get out of bed. That was 14 years ago and I still can't sit in a chair for very long without it starting to hurt.
She borrowed a pair of Abercrombie shorts when I was 14 and I still haven't gotten them back.
Yeah, she was a much better sister than me, I'll admit. We never actually fought (scratching, biting, pulling hair). We were above that. But, we argued a lot and called each other stuff. I called her "a butt" one time and I got in SO much trouble. Now, we have several endearing nicknames for each other that you can ask us about in person, but I won't put them on here. Let's just say that Mom gets all "Giiirls, I can't believe you call each other that in public! People may not know you're joking!" But, that's what makes it funny! We usually just stick to "Sistah", though.
I think it was when she went off to college that we became friends. Finally got her out of the house and had it all to myself (except for the pesky brothers) and then realized I missed her.
She's the only person that won't laugh at me when I wear my coonskin hat. Mainly because she has one, too. But also because she realizes how awesome it is. If you look closely, you can see our Davey Crockett vests, complete with tassels, and you can see plastic knives and cap guns shoved into our shorts. You can also see the kittens pleading for their lives as we strangle/hug them.
The girls were born at 4 a.m. Malinda stayed with us until 2 a.m. when we sent her home because she needed to rest. Sara was there at 5:30 a.m. We had somebody with us pretty much the entire time. You can't ask for better people than that. Sara basically never left us at the hospital. She stayed with me when my parents and David went to the hotel to get some rest. My Mom was able to stay with us for 6 weeks after they were born. And Sara was there helping every second she wasn't sleeping or at work. She even spent the night several times when Mom had to make a trip home to check on things at the house.
I know the girls will adore her. And I'm pretty sure she'll let them do things I specifically expressed not to let them do, but that's what aunts are for, I guess. It makes me even happier to know that the Piper Lee and Harper have each other...a built-in buddy...because I know the fun I had with Sara.
She's a great sister and friend. I'm glad I've got her. Love you, SF.