HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SIS!
Today, December 1st, is my sister’s birthday. She is… 26 years old. In honor of her special day, I’m going to write a little bit about her.
We never really got along growing up. I was almost three years older than her, and we were about as different as night and day. I was the blonde, no-tanning child, whereas she had light brown hair and skin that tanned beautifully in the summer. I spent many year trying to get that tan… so much so that I’ve recently been considering a trip to the dermatologist to determine just how much damage I did in my youth! She was the sweet child who wanted to grow up and be a missionary. I was the emotionally aloof child who tended to bury myself in books about other people’s lives. But, back to Kate.
So, we never much got a long… and that just got worse and worse as we got older. We shared a room in several of the places we lived (military, remember?), and our “room style” was about as different as our hair color. I was the OCD perfectionist. I couldn’t even do my homework without having cleaned up the room first. She was the consumate slob. I actually think she worked best in the midst of chaos!!! So, many arguments, some hair-pulling, and much name-calling were the hallmarks of our childhood and teen years together.
We went to college, and not much changed. She didn’t want to go to the school I was at because I was there… and now, I can understand that. I think there was always jealousy between the two of us. Her toward me because I was tall and thin without effort… and me toward her because she was always “Kate the golden child”, and I was “Whitney the ice princess”.
Post graduation, I got married, and she proceeded to finish school a few years later. I became pregnant with our first child in the fall of 2005, and she had graduated in the spring, and was starting her first teaching job. Before I had my baby, she became a foster parent. I have to admit, I was a little ticked. I was the one that was married, and having a baby… to me it seemed like she was just too impatient to wait to do things the “right way”. She got a second foster child, a newborn baby, not even 2 weeks before my baby was born. Around the same time, she met, and soon became engaged to, her future husband. They got married in September of 2006. I went to the wedding, which was very small, but so nice.
So, some time passes, and I’m still thinking that my sister is irresponsible, and then I have the “dream”. I mentioned this dream in a previous post, the super short version is that I dreamed she was pregnant before she knew it, and she was. My dream was right, straight down to the approximate due date.
After that, things started to change. We started talking more. We started emailing more. This pregnancy was something that she had not done before… and although you can foster and adopt babies, it is very different to be pregnant with one. Her pregnancy became very complicated. She suffered from extremely high blood pressure, and was hospitalized 9 and a half weeks before her due date. They managed to control things for a week, but then had to deliver my nephew via c-section 8 weeks early. He was supposed to be born on April 10th. He was born on February 12th. He spent a lot of time in the NICU, but now is doing phenomenally well.
So, this all sounds pretty bad… but honestly, there is a light at the end of this post! My sister and I are now closer than we have ever been before. My bitterness about her need to beat me out in the race to motherhood is completely gone. I think that her jealousies about my “perfect” life are gone too. I think a lot of it has to do with getting older. Neither one of us has the time or desire to nitpick each other. We’ve accepted each other the way that we are. She loves me for the slightly compulsive neat freak that I am, and I love her for the chaotic craziness that she thrives on. I know I won’t ever be like her… I’m me. She likewise can’t ever be like me… ’cause she is herself. Neither switch would be a happy one!
I am so glad that we had our difficulties growing up. I think it has made the coming together that much better. We know where we have been, and how far we’ve come to get to where we’re at now relationally. I just hope it gets better and better as time goes on. I can totally see our two families taking vacations together when the kids are all a little older. She’ll be totally go-with-the flow, and I’ll be stressing out over the crumbs in the car. But, it will be great!
So, happy birthday Kate! I love you a lot, and I hope that you have an amazing 2009.