Tomorrow after work I'm picking my almost twenty year old sister up from the subway and taking her downtown to stay with me. She blows out 20 candles this weekend and honestly, it doesn't feel that long ago that she was born. For all my girlfriends, yes, you can gasp in shock. The little girl who used to ask us to read her books and do her hair when you were over at my house in high school is now a woman. We're even older now. Double whammy!
Chelsea Eileen or "sweetie" as we called her when she was a newborn is better known in our family as Chelsea Buns. She's got the clearest blue eyes I've ever seen and a sense of humour that's blossoming as she gets older. We share jokes all the time and often communicate in only movie quotes. For example, let's say I want to fire off a text to Chels to tell her I'm thinking of her and that I'm having a good day. Instead of expressing that in plain English I'll likely type, "Good news. I saw a dog today." This is from one of our favourite movies, Elf. It started with Napoleon Dynamite quotations mostly. I'd ask the sullen teenager if she'd finished her homework and in true Napoleon fashion, she'd huff in exaggeration instead of saying, "I'll get to it. Get off my back and stop busting me for not doing my homework for pete's sake!"
Sometimes when we're in the same room - which isn't too often now that we're both moved out of the house - we'll pick up the pretend phone and exclaim, "Buddy the Elf. What's your favourite colour?" This line applies in many situations for us. It conveys a plethora of emotions and meanings. We're not insane, I can promise you. We just like to have fun.
Chels is just a funny person. In grade nine she took band class and started playing the sax. It was painful for baby sister and I for the first month she was learning. The tortured sounds of music being strangled escaping from Chelsea's room still make me smile. She was only 14 then and she was just discovering her love of music and while she was doing that, she was making me laugh. Now she's an accomplished player and no longer makes me giggle when she plays...now I beam with pride.
On her 19th birthday her friends took her out and she came home with a favourite drink that still cracks me up. She told me she was drinking Florida tracksuits at the local pub in honour of becoming legal. Now, I'm not a professional drinker or anything, but I'm almost ten years older than Chels and I've never heard of that drink. She goes out on her first night and finds what sounds to me like the coolest and most hilarious libation ever. What a kid!
Does seeing your younger siblings grow up make you realize how lucky you are to have them? It might make us feel older, but it's pretty awesome to think that we've been there for every birthday watching them grow and learn. This week, I'm celebrating how lucky I am to be Chelsea's big sister.