To My Little Sister on Her Birthday.

The Enchanting Transmogrification from Sister to Friend.

When we were young, really, really young, we used to play house

as most sisters did.

Do you remember? Most often I’d be the husband and wear the plastic black moustache we found at the bottom of a Cracker Jack box, and you’d be the wife and wear one of Mom’s old aprons that fell well below your knees like a skirt.  Sometimes you’d wear two aprons one around your waist

and one on your head so that you’d have long “princess” hair.

Other times we’d play school.  Making class lists, writing the names of the “bad kids” on our little green chalkboard.  I don’t remember if I’d play the teacher or if it was you.  We’d probably take turns.  But either way, your pink bedroom served as an adequate elementary classroom.

Eventually we graduated to Barbies.  Sometime’s I’d sew clothing out of scrap material, always opting for the “tube” dress.  And you’d always seem so appreciative of my designer additions to Barbie’s wardrobe.

We grew older and we no longer played together.  I didn’t have time for a puny junior high kid.   We’d scrap and argue and fight and I’d make you cry with my sarcasm.  Then I went off to university and you’d visit me in the big city and I’d marvel at how mature you’d grown over a mere two months with your poufy hair, your dangly earrings,  your contact lenses



your driver’s license.

Somewhere between university and the grown up world of work you became my best friend.  I remember phoning you almost everyday while you took your turn away from home at university.  We’d talk for hours debriefing about the parents,

about friends,

about boyfriends.

I’d lie on brown-carpeted floor of my first REAL apartment and look at the cracks on my ceiling sharing my frustrations and joys.

And all of a sudden you were my confidante instead of the annoying little sister.

Since then, you’ve always been with me through all the sorrows life has thrown at me and all the dramas I’ve created for myself.  Nursing me through a broken heart or two (or three???)  Supporting me through professional successes and being excited with me through all my travels.  You seem to instinctively know when I need a kick in the ass

or when I need a hug.

Thank you for being my “goto” person when I’m lonely, when I’m afraid, and when I’m content.  Thank you for being the first person I call when I’m in a crisis.  You’re someone who doesn’t judge, or advise, or chastise.

Thank you for sharing your family with me:  your husband to help me with moving and car issues and rides to the airport and your daughters to fill that teeny weensy childless void in my life.

Thank you for sharing your life with me.

I love you my sister.

My friend.

She is your mirror, shining back at you with a world of possibilities.  She is your witness, who sees you at your worst and best, and loves you anyway.  She is your partner in crime, your midnight companion, someone who knows when you are smiling, even in the dark.  She is your teacher, your defense attorney, your personal press agent, even your shrink.  Some days, she’s the reason you wish you were an only child.  ~Barbara Alpert


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