My sister is practically a body builder. I live chicken wing to chicken wing fix. While she holds down a high power job, two awesome kids enrolled in everything from gymnastics to hockey, a hubby AND works out at the gym like mad, I can barely figure out where each week disappears.
While I opted for a completely off-the-wall life, taking off to volunteer in Africa years ago, getting an expat job there along the way, and retiring at 42 to live on a sailboat, my sis is sticking it out in the ‘real’ world. A world I know almost nothing of.
She likes designer bags and high heels but she’s no airhead. She might look like Pamela Anderson on a night out on the town, but at heart, she is as down to earth as they come. And smart. Very smart.
She’s got more than her fair share of charm and gusto too - she could sell meat to a butcher. In fact, she does sell meat. Like a boss.
She has always looked up to me – the big sis, the role model. But what for I’ll never know. I’m not the highly ambitious type. I enjoy bargain hunting in Walmart and I did live for 5 years in Africa quite happily on $200 a month. AND I was a mother of a 4 year old at the time. Some say I’m crazy. Maybe they’re right. Irresponsible, wayward, a drifter. But not my little sis.
She doesn’t see my lack of self control around fresh cut French fries or 3-for-$10 t-shirts. She thinks I’m great.
While she’s pumping big iron in a gym at 6am after prepping kiddies lunches, I’m sound asleep, only hours later rubbing the sleep from my eyes and wondering which bar has the best happy hour deal today.
She juggles a mortgage and temper tantrums. I helm a catamaran around Bahamian beaches and bays. And she thinks ‘I’ do something to admire.
Letter to my little sister:
You are a wonderful woman. You are far too hard on yourself and somehow somewhere along the line you came to believe you need to be superwoman. You are doing a great job.
But I love you behind all the muscles and the beauty and the promotions and the amazing kids you are raising. I love you for you. The pudgy blond baby I used to push around our 70’s shag carpet in a car seat/speed machine. Back then I told Mom that you were MY baby, so she should get pregnant again and have another one for herself.
You were determined even back then – to a fault. Holding your breath in the supermarket until you turned blue – if you didn’t get what you wanted. Your skills at moving your life in the direction you want have improved immensely over time. But I still see those eyes squeezed shut. That spirit has not changed. You are ambitious.
You are worth looking up to.
I not only love you with all my heart, I respect you. I have no idea where those genes came from - the dedication to a goal, the motivation to succeed, the positivity you bring to it all - they missed me completely.
I am me, so very different. And you are you.
I wish for you everything you want in this life. I wish this with every fibre of my being. But what I wish even more than that is for you to look within and see how amazing you are. And believe that.
You have enriched my life and made it whole. I was an only child. A lonely child. You made it both a challenge and you brought the rewards. To this day I've never laughed so hard, until I am bursting, red faced, spewing, snorting REAL LAUGHTER as I do when I'm with you.
Thanks for being my little sis, and mostly thanks for being you.