Dear Baby Sister,
I was only 6 years old when the paramedic put newborn you into my arms, but I will never be able to forget the feeling of looking into your big brown eyes and feeling a monumental shift in my heart. Now, today, you are turning 16 years old. It’s hard for me to accept a reality where you are not the toddler with sweet eyes that were too big for your face or the six-year-old with a goofy grin that made me watch Barbie’s “Rapunzel” a million times and would crawl into bed with me and let me snuggle you all night.
The truth is, you being 16 in a world that so unsure and full of hurt terrifies me. While I know that you have a way better head on your shoulders than I did at 16, I don’t want you ever to have to experience hurt like I have or make the same mistakes I’ve made. As much as I’ve tried to protect you from pain, there are things I can’t protect you from like your first heartbreak, the loss of friendships, or even your first fender bender. My love for you makes me want to wrap you up in a little cocoon and keep you safe forever. I’ll never stop worrying about you or being your overprotective big sister.
Underneath my overprotectiveness and unwillingness to admit you are growing up, I am excited about the life you have ahead of you. I admire your ability not to care what others think and do what makes you happy, your intelligence and wit (seriously, you’re easily one of the funniest people I know), but most of all I admire the kind heart you have developed that always sees the best in others. I can’t wait to hear all about the lucky boy who has captured your heart, for you to go off to college (just don’t have as much fun as I did), to see you dominate in your career, and to see you one day have a family of your own.
I was 16 once, so I know that you “know everything” and don’t need my unsolicited advice, but I’m going to give it to you anyways. Here’re some things that I wish I would have known at 16:
- Whatever you think is important now will not be in 4,8, or even 20 years. Don’t sweat the small stuff.
- Never stay in any relationship (romantic or not) that doesn’t make you a better person or causes you emotional distress.
- If some guy is ever stupid enough to break up with you or cheat on you, ignore the hell out of him and do your best to move on. He’s an idiot.
- Ramen noodles are not a real meal. Eat healthily and take care of your body.
- Hold your ground and always stay true to yourself, even if doing so makes you “unpopular.”
- Read more books than you watch T.V.
- Everything that doesn’t happen in the way you wanted or expected is for a reason. There’s not a single time I’ve looked back on something I didn’t get and realized that I got something much, much better.
- Learn to be alone and comfortable with silence. That’s when you learn the most about yourself.
- Always try to see the good in things. Sometimes you are going to be on top of the world, and others you are going to spend in your bedroom crying wondering why it feels like God is always taking a massive dump on you. I promise as long as you stay positive, things will get better.
- Listen to your big sister; she gives the best advice.
Even when I’m 90 and you’re 84, you will still be considered the “baby” of the family. You deserve every happiness in life and for every birthday wish to come true. Eat a piece of cake for me Stubbs, and never forget that your big sister loves you more than you will ever know.
Your Big Sis