Happy Birthday, sweet sister o' mine. Digging through old photos of us this morning....there were too many from which to choose. The both of us in fur and oxfords posing by the tree in the front yard; feeding pelicans on spring break in terry-cloth shortalls; and sitting in a covered wagon with our swimsuits on, fresh from the pool and hair plastered to our foreheads. I'd like to point out that in that last photo, I am fully committed to the artistic direction of the shot, my arms raised to hold invisible reins. For the invisible team of invisible Clydesdales. You, on the other hand, have your arms at your sides, and at second glance, your hair isn't nearly as humiliating. Someone had the decency to provide you with ponytails, whereas I was given the kind of 'do that inspires gender confusion. Why, mom-why?
I chose this shot because in it, we are both at our most awkward. I had just entered the phase of my life I'll call Home Perm, while you were struggling with giraffe-legs and dental issues not yet amended by orthodontics. You'll notice how my chin and your waist are nearly parallel; but don't be fooled-the height of my hair spans the distance to your shoulders quite easily.
I love you so much. Thank you for enduring me then, and now. Thank you for wanting me near you, and for loving me even though I'm not. Thank you for bringing me things when I forgot them, and for curling my bangs into a waterfall. I wish you a day during which you are showered with delights, a night during which you sleep to your hearts' content, and a year full of treasures unimaginable.