Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Happy Birthday Kara

Thirty years ago today at 10:49am my sister Kara was born. I was the happiest 11 1/2 year old child when I heard the news from my dad that it was a girl!!! Nana and I had been secretly praying for a girl even though we told other people, "Oh, we don't care as long as the baby is healthy." What the heck would I have done with a brother?
This past Sunday, my mom threw a surprise party at a beautiful restaurant for Kara's 30th birthday. We all had a wonderful time. I read the following letter to my sister after dinner.

October 17, 2004

To my dearest sister,
In just 3 days you will be 30. That seems amazing to me. It seems like only yesterday that I wished for a baby sister to love.

Somehow I thought you would turn out to be exactly like me but you asserted your independence early on.
When you were about 6 months old I couldn't wait to dress you in frilly hats. You were not as thrilled about this as I was. Every time I tied a pretty little bonnet around your neck you spit up on me. Even at that age you had your own sense of fashion and nothing that I did was going to change it. Needless to say, there are very few pictures of you in a hat.

I believe the first sentence you ever spoke was directed to me in a nasty tone, with your hands on your hips,"I don't have to listen to you. You're not my mother!" Okay maybe that wasn't the first one but it's the one I heard most often.

I think I spent a lot of time trying to make you more like me instead of just letting you be yourself. I realized my mistake when you were in high school.

When you were 15 or 16 your date for the semi-formal hadn't called you all day and never showed up to pick you up. I was visiting a friend in Boston when Mom called to tell me this news. All I could say was, "Oh no, my poor sister! Is she ok?" I was on the verge of tears picturing you in your beautiful dress, crying in your room while eating junk food to help soothe your pain. That's what I would've done and I couldn't imagine any other reaction to this kind of situation. Mom said, "She’s fine. She went to the dance without him. She said no one was going to ruin her good time and she would have fun with her friends."
I was stunned. I would never, ever, ever have thought of going to the dance by myself. I hung up the phone from mom and I clapped for you. I thought you were brilliant for having taken control of the situation. I was so proud of you and so grateful that you didn't handle things the way I would have.

The summer that you were 15 and I was 27 we went off for 4 days to Florida. After 3 days in Disney World you said you wanted to go to a waterslide park. Immediately I said no because I had never been to a water slide park before and it didn't sound like fun to me. NOT AT ALL! You glared at me and told me not to be a big baby (ah, always the compassionate one!) and just try it. Reluctantly I agreed to go even though I was convinced I would hate every minute of it. I couldn't believe how much fun we had. I don't know what was more surprising: the fact that I enjoyed the water slides or that you and I had fun doing the same thing! I had to admit you were right.

The only thing we had in common was cheerleading. I was so honored when you asked me to help you with the cheers for your try-outs that first year. I felt like you finally needed me for something. When you asked me to watch the try-outs I wanted to say no because I would be too nervous but I went and made you smile and I was so proud when you made the squad. Not only were you a great cheerleader but I thought it meant that you were like me.

It has taken me 30 years to realize that you and I are never going to be the same and that's probably a good thing after all. Who could stand two of us?
The important thing is that we are sisters who love each other with one goal in mind: to drive mom crazy.

Happy 30th Birthday to my favorite sister and Lillianna's favorite auntie!

I love you!!


No comments: