One of my very first memories is from the day she was born. I'm three years old, standing in the kitchen in the house on Pico Street, holding the phone to my ear. My father tells me that my mom had the baby and it's a girl. I'm very excited. And when he also reports that she has curly hair, I'm instantly envious.
The day that the new baby came home from the hospital, family lore has it that I'm so excited to see her that I throw up. It's hardly a good welcome to the world. And it doesn't nearly express how I've felt about my little sister, whom I loved and admired instantly.
As long as I can remember, she's been my buddy and companion. Although I'm the older sister, she's the one who always has looked after me. When I wanted to play school all weekend long, she was a willing student. When I was afraid to ask for something that I wanted, she would boldly take charge. When a bully picked on me in the fifth grade, she defended me. We're grown ups now, no longer "the girls." But she's as firmly in my corner as she ever was, perhaps more so.
When things go badly for me, I turn to her and I know that she'll have the answers. She makes me laugh more than any other person I know. As a fellow parent and teacher, I admire the sensibility she brings to both of those worlds. She's my realist-at-large and I admire her so much that I've forgiven her for her impressive height, the effortless way she looks good in anything she wears, her curly hair, and her knack for being the most photogenic person on the planet.
She's turning 37 today and I want her to know that I'm as proud to be her sister today as I was that day not so long ago when she was born.
Happy Birthday KO.