|3. Someone that will always inform you of bad breath, long chin hairs, white zits ready to be popped, ugly outfits, when you're being loud and obnoxious, etc.|
4. Always present, even when miles away; dependable; trustworthy; caring; loving.
5. Maybe, possibly the only one that truly understands your goofy personality.
6. Willing to tolerate definition #5, and a whole lot more.
--definition from Dictionary of Angie
I have two sisters, one older and one younger. My older sister, Hope, and I are only 16 months apart, but growing up it seemed like a much bigger gap. You see, she was far cooler than me. She gave up dolls and playing house long before I did. She hung out with the older kids in our small neighborhood; and I preferred playing with my younger sister, Sheila, and all the kids still into pushing strollers with dolls. I secretly wished to be cool like Hope, but I didn't really know how to achieve that when I honestly still enjoyed being the awkward girl I was. It wasn't until high school that Hope and I really connected on a level that went beyond sharing the same gene pool. By then we'd grown into our own people and accepted each other for who we were. We'd often rummage through our dad's dresser drawers and plan to wear matching retro sweaters to school the same day.
Pretending to sleep, well, some were better pretenders anyway.
Hope and I were always mistaken for each other. Or I should say, I was always mistaken for her. We looked enough alike for people who didn't know us well enough to confuse them. This was a constant source of annoyance for me. We lived in a town of 187 people, commuted to a neighboring town for school, where each class averaged a total of 80 people. Needless to say, I was still mistaken for my sister a lot. It wasn't until my sister moved in with me miles and miles away from our hometown that the positions were reversed. She was finally mistaken for me.
Hope stuck me in the doll highchair and I got stuck. Obviously my mom had to snap a picture.
The period where we lived together in a tiny two bedroom apartment most definitely holds some of my fondest memories, even if it was only a short while, before she moved clear across the country to live on an air force base with her new husband. The day I had to say good-bye to her was rough. We really aren't the type who openly cry and share our emotions. Instead, I cried quietly into my pillow in Dave's Jeep (who at the time was just a boyfriend, and had met my family for the first time) on our way back home. Back at home in the two bed apartment I used to share with my sister, I would sleep cuddled with a blanket my sister left behind; and I'd often find little tidbits of things she left for me, like notes scrawled on the calendar months in advance. These would make me smile because I knew she had anticipated me discovering these things--a note in December--and I'd feel pangs of homesickness, wishing I could be closer to my sister, who didn't even live close to home either.
Hope has since moved back home, and we're able to see each other multiple times a year. I love seeing my boys with their Aunt Hopey (even if Spencer is convinced lately that she is his cousin). We email each other almost daily, and occasionally we will have conversations over text message (she's the least technological person you'll meet). I am so very thankful for her presence in my life. She has shown me what it looks like to be a good friend--one who gives and doesn't expect to receive; is dependable to a fault; cares with her whole heart; and will put you before herself. Without her, I don't think I would be the sister or friend or, even, the mother that I am today. Thank you, Hopey, for being you.
I wanted to do something special for her birthday this year, so I planned a fun little outing to ValleyFair, a Minnesota amusement park, to repay her for the time she took me for my 21st birthday, but perhaps had a bit too much fun the night before and most definitely had no business riding roller coasters and being spun in circles. We decided it'd be fun to make a whole weekend of it, and reserved a hotel for the night, too. It was a lot of fun spending that one-on-one time with my sister, something of a luxury, really.
Hope and I at Sheila's wedding.
We did learn a few valuable lessons on our trip:
1. Roundabouts (pronounced in a Canadian accent--round-a-boot--because it's always more fun) are terrifyingly confusing and really serve no purpose.
2. Our tummies grew weak in our old age. After one painfully long ride on a pirate ship that holds you upside down for far too long, our tummies grew ill and never fully recovered.
3. Choking at a restaurant will frighten your waiter, make fellow patrons gawk, and be the source of amusement for your sister all night. (I was fine by the way, no worries.)
4. Almost always you get what you pay for. Case in point: our hotel. The walls were paper thin, so we heard the wedding noises all night long, plus all the doors slamming in the hallways. And the bathroom fan most certainly did not work, causing the steam from my hot shower to waft out and set off the smoke alarm. Hope was unsuccessfully waving the steam away from the smoke detector with some papers, so I climbed onto a cooler in my towel and pushed a crap ton of buttons trying to shut the deafeningly loud thing off. We concluded that had it been a real fire, we most definitely were on our own, since no hotel staff came to our rescue.
The gift basket I presented her at the hotel.
Next year my little sister will be spoiled for her birthday. Since amusement park rides are out, what else shall we do?