My sister is getting married today. Excuse me? She’s not old enough to get married! Or perhaps I’m just not old enough to have a sibling getting married.
I’m only seven years old, and she’s only eleven. At this age, it thrills me that our ages form the name of our favorite place to go every single Wednesday night after Awana for Slurpees.
We visit Lombard and Bartlett at every holiday and in between – our grandparents lavish attention on us, enjoying either their first grandchildren, or their first granddaughters after many boys.
We’re playing hide-and-seek in Lombard. She tells me to hide in the trunk of the car. Once it’s closed, I panic and scream – a lot. She gets in trouble.
We’re homeschooled, and she’s learning probability on the couch. For some reason, the basics of probability fascinate me and my sister gets pissed off when I answer questions as she does.
I break my arm, and quite honestly it’s all her fault. I get a cast, and unconsciously exact my revenge while we sleep, whacking her with my cast.
I throw my stuffed cat at her before going to sleep, scratching her eye with the tag.
We share a room, and read Archie Comics by the light of our bathroom every night after Mom and Dad leave the room.
She hits me for touching her arm, or leg. She hits me for kissing her. She threatens my life for smacking her butt.
She’s going into ninth grade; I’m going into fifth. She’s horrified to leave the comforts of homeschool to go to HCA; I’m excited to go to real school.
It’s her first year in college, and we talk on the phone for a decent length of time, perhaps for the first time ever. I have the same teachers she had four years ago, and I’m involved in the same things. We actually have something to talk about.
I visit Moody, and we come to the incredibly realization that without our parents around, we’re actually capable of coexisting. She seems proud of me as her sister, even though she emphasizes the word “little” in “little sister.”
I watch her walk and receive her diploma from MBI; one week later, she watches me do the same, receiving my highschool diploma.
We share friends during the summer. She tells me vague information about her long distance boyfriend she met on Bro-Sis. I leave her behind at the end, taking her place at Moody.
It’s Christmas, my sister just got engaged. I’m not sure what I think of the man, he calls me a freak. I accept this. If she likes him, he might be ok.
I sew aprons for her reception. I watch her try on wedding gowns. I envy her finding her dress the third try — my maid-of-honor dress takes multiple trips to locate.
It’s four days before the wedding, and I’m still in Chicago. I print my plane ticket and write her a note on facebook before racing to a Missions Conference session. I spend the next three minutes saying “My sister is getting married” repeatedly to a patient Josh, who’s internal response should be something like, “shut up already.”
I’m watching her stand next to Dad as he forgets his one line, “Her mother and I.” She’s tiny next to him, since like me, she’s neglected to wear shoes for the majority of rehearsal.
She tells me to grow up as we wait to run through the ceremony again. I can’t take her seriously with her ribbon-and-bow practice bouquet tied to her head.
I take videos with Heather of her dancing in the front seat of the car to the radio , on our way to Melting Pot for her bachelorette party.
She’s telling us what she loves most about Jerry. I get a glimpse of why this man I barely know might actually be good enough for my sister.
I lie in bed, unable to believe she’s getting married. I want one more day to just play in the snow, listen to Renee stories, complain about Mom and Dad, swim at Lake Emerald…
She’s getting married in the morning. My beautiful, stubborn, obnoxious, loving, violent, cultured sister is getting married.
And if I don’t go to sleep now, I’ll be in world of trouble with her for nodding off on stage.