I cant believe my little sister is 20 today. It’s just not right. I was thinking about it the other day when I was walking through the card aisle in the store, realizing that it’s weird that she’s the age I was when I got married. Which means I now have to consider her old enough to get married. ABSOLUTELY NOT. Little sisters should never grow up and get married. EVER.
Janie is supposed to stay the 4 year old little girl with strawberry blond curls and dressed up in her Disney princess costume du jour.
She’s supposed to still be the little girl with the tiara and scepter sitting on the gold and red velvet throne my dad made her for her birthday. Or wearing the full princess regalia out, just because she can.
I want to walk through the living room and see her sitting in her jasmine costume on a towel that looks like the magic carpet with a stuffed Abu and Raja next to her while she watches Aladdin (Al-latt-ting) intently and sings along with all of the songs.
I want her to still get mad when we pick on her and insult us with “YOU are a worthless STWEETWAT!” because its the meanest thing she can think of.
I want to walk through the mall with her and watch her eyes get big every time we pass any little girl dresses made of pink tulle and lace.
I want to laugh hysterically at her while she pretends to “princess faint” when she gets overwhelmed, then just lies on the floor and fakes being passed out. No matter where we are. Even if it’s in the middle of a crowded hallway on a cruise ship when we’re trying to deboard.
I want to go to a restaurant and hear her order a fillet, medium, french fries, and a shirley temple with extra cherries please. And no ice. And then an extra bowl of cherries. (well, sometimes that one still happens…)
But then she started growing up and turned into a little preteen who copied Lizzie McGuire hairstyles every day for school and picking out clothes that were trendy instead of princess-y. And got a cell phone. And had a busier social calendar than I did, even though she was in middle school and I was in high school. (But I’ve forgiven her for that, even though that hasnt changed!)
Then she got into high school and went from this super cute little girl to this blond bombshell who was taller than both of her older sisters. (We forgave her for that too. kind of) Then instead of spending her time watching Disney movies on the magic carpet, she started doing stuff like going to jr city council meetings and volunteering at assisted living facilities and mission trips and traveling to Europe with junior leadership groups to better understand world politics. You know, stuff every high schooler does.
Then she GRADUATED. Really? I still havent quite gotten over it.
But it didnt stop there- she went off to college, finished her freshman year, and is now an RA at Covenant. She’s one of the “old people” on campus who shows all the newbies around and helps them through their breakups and catfights and term papers and stress while planning fun activities and events for her girls… all while still doing things like, you know, going to class. (clearly her schedule hasn’t slowed down much)
And if all that wasnt enough, even though I still can’t get over the fact that she got her drivers license, she has to go and TURN 20 YEARS OLD. I cant even say I have a teenage sister anymore. She’s an ADULT. I can’t quite wrap my brain around it. The good thing, though, is that she is making sure to pass all those little girl traits we loved so much down to the next one in line:
Even though I’m not quite ready to admit it, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, little sister. We are so proud of you!