STORIES

  • To my sister on her 40th birthday

    If a movie was made about our childhood, the title might be “The Ya Ya Sisterhood of Sharing One Pair of Pants.”   My sister and I had so little and shared so much that at one point we were down to a single pair of jeans between us. I can’t really explain the logistics. Just know there were some fights.

    She was 14 months older than me and we shared every possession, every experience, every memory and every friend. 

    Laura was naturally good at everything and she made friends easily.  We all wanted to be like her back then, with her imposing early-90’s bangs and Zero SPF tan. 

    She had style even in the early years.  And that style became my style each following school year as she handed down her mauve corduroys that should've come with a flood warning, her Holly Hobby t-shirt and her winter coat with too-short sleeves.

    We had some fun together in high school and college. I was a bit of a clown and she became more serious. Could she be a buzz kill?  Yes.  Did she save me from some near-death situations?  Also yes. But on the rare occasion that she let loose, everyone had more fun.

    We split off and lived very different lives for a while there.  But when I became a mom, she saved me yet again.  She told me what to expect at every turn.  I am a much better mom because of her.   

    Don’t be fooled, though.  She still has some cool girl in there and I’ll try to bring that out this weekend.  Maybe we’ll get a Nacho Bell Grande and some Boons Farm.  Pull out the scrunchies and Hammer pants.  I don’t know, we’ll have to play it by ear.   

    As moms, we let go of these parts of ourselves… the people we were before life told us otherwise.  As I stare down the barrel of age 39 and my near-twin turns 40, I’m introspective.  What have we learned?   Where does time go? How many pairs of jeans do I currently own?  These are all important questions. 

    As life unfolds, the answers really do come to us. We finally are the people we were becoming all along.  Completely different, yet the same.

    As I considered what to give my sister on this milestone, I realized that perspective is the best gift of all. On her 40th birthday, I want to remind her that she’s still naturally pretty, effortlessly cool, annoyingly talented and unusually smart.  In fact, in many ways, she is more of all these things than she ever was.