An Open Letter To My Older Sister
To My Older Sister,
I have often wondered how different my life would be if you weren’t part of it. I cannot imagine a single event of my life being the same. Every single childhood memory has you attached to it. Like the time that we camped inside and stayed up all night talking about nothing. I was 5, and you were 11. You made me say every swear word you knew and laughed hysterically when they would come out of my little innocent mouth. I am going to blame the truck driver mouth I have today on you for breaking me in when I was so young. Every time someone tells me that I swear a lot, I just say, “You should meet my sister.”
I can’t write this letter without mentioning how much you teased me growing up (and sometimes now). It was your older sisterly duty to bully me, and my oh my, you did it well. You and our brother, Mike, would make up songs about how I was chubby and smelly and spoiled, etc. and I would cry to mom while you both laughed. You have the quickest wit of the whole family, and you can really use it to your advantage. You would think that all that would emotionally scar me, but I’m really better for it. Your teasing strengthened me. Your meanness didn’t make me hard, but didn’t make me super soft either. I have developed a wit of my own that I can thank you for. I can defend myself, and you prepared me for that.
Growing up, we were always there to make each other laugh. We shared a bunk bed for years, and you’d swing down from the top bunk, pretend to be a robot, and we would play silly games when Mom and Dad thought we were sleeping. We would make up silly voices and annoying the entire family. When taking long car trips, we would rip up little pieces of paper and put them in mom’s hair without her noticing. We were evil geniuses, if I do say so myself. When I was younger, you would always trick me into saying inappropriate stuff that I didn’t even know the meaning of (see: Tent Incident). Like when we would duet that “Everybody (Backstreet’s Back!)” song by The Backstreet Boys when I was 10:
You: Okay Katie, you go first.
Me: ”Am I original? Yeah…”
You: ”Am I the only one? Yeah…”
Me: ”Am I sexual? Yeah!”
And then you’d laugh and laugh that a ten year old just asked if she was sexual, while Dad would yell at you and ask what you were teaching me. You’d always respond: “Hey! She’s not my kid!”
As much as you were the mean older sister, I was the annoying little sister. I wanted to be you. I wanted to wear the same clothes as you, listen to the same music as you, watch the same TV shows as you, have the same friends as you. You, of course, did not want any of that. I’d follow you and your friends around the house like an annoying little leech while you told me to go away because I was an annoyance. I was the Stephanie Tanner to your DJ Tanner, but it worked for us. It worked for us because at the end of the day, we were there for each other.
You have been there for me in some of my most desperate times of need. College hasn’t always been the easiest in the world for me, and when my friends were busy living their just-as-overwhelming lives, you were always there. All I had to do was pick up the phone, and you were always on the other end. There have been times in the past few years where I have felt so completely helpless and alone, and you have been on my side no matter what. You have saved my ass from being an idiot more times than I could even thank you for. Sometimes I roll my eyes when you get up on that high horse and preach about how you’ve seen it all, but I know what you’re saying is for my benefit. I’ve learned from your mistakes and missteps, and I appreciate that.
You’re the biggest pain in my ass, but the most wonderful sister a girl could have. Although sometimes you still treat me like the little girl singing Backstreet Boys, I know that we can take our relationship to a new level of friendship as we both become adults. I love you, big sis!
Your Little Sister
[Lead image via Elena Schweitzer/Shutterstock]