August 31, 2012

When baby sisters grow up

I still remember the day she was born.  I was wearing short white overalls and a navy blue shirt with my sunflower scrunchie as the perfect accessory for such an outfit.  Clearly, it was the nineties.  My Aunt picked me up from school and took me to the hospital to wait for whoever it was that was about to make their entrance into the world.

My parents waited to find out what they were having.  And unlike every one of my parents friends and our family, I did not think she was having a boy.  I was absolutely sure it was a girl.  Maybe it was because what I wanted more than anything, was a sister.

A few hours later it was finally time for me to go into the room.  I saw my mom holding this tiny little bundled up thing with a red scrunched up face.

"Jennifer, meet your baby sister," my mom said beaming. 

I squealed with delight.  I got my sister, the one I had wanted more than anything.  Holding her in my arms for the first time was something I'll never forget.  I don't know many thirteen year old's who get the honor of holding their younger sibling in their arms at that age.

That was eighteen years ago today.  Eighteen years.  My once baby sister is now a grown adult woman.  How surreal.

There have been times when both Laura and I have vocalized to each other how hard it is to have a sister so far apart in age.  It's come with its challenges as she's grown and now that I'm married with a child (soon to be children!) of my own.  I have seen where in my own adultness, I've done damage and hurt her precious heart.  I've done things and lived in ways that she hasn't understood, and in that, I wounded both her and our relationship.  I ache to share in more closeness and depth with my sister, and I also see where things still need to heal.  Where we are still growing, and in that, growing into a relationship with each other that God had intended for us to always have together.

For years I have observed my sister and I wasn't sure what to do with the reality of seeing how different we are.  She is very confident in who she is and what she likes.  She doesn't pretend to be into something just to have someone be accepting of her.  She is talented and artsy and silly.  She has a great appreciation for music and acting and drawing.  She has my dad's dry sense of humor and has Robin's facial expressions down to a "t."  She has her own style and quirks that make her uniquely her.

Yet we share the same blood, the same mother.  We share so much of the same story - just lived at very different times.  And we share a special woman - one that I call my Robin and one that she calls mom.  The woman who I will be forever grateful is present in my sister's life so that she has never known the void of not having a mother in her life.
Now, my baby sister, that little blanketed baby I held in my arms for the first time eighteen years ago today, is officially an adult.  A young woman.  And I couldn't be more proud, more honored and more thankful that God gifted me with her life for always.

Happy Birthday to my "baby" sister.  I love you so.


  1. Amazing story!! Makes me wish I'd been able to experience having a sister! I hope my baby girl will be blessed with a sister in the future :)

  2. This was so beautiful Jennifer - very well said! I was an only child for nearly 9 years before my sister was born, so I can totally relate to your sentiments. I love how time has a way of closing the age gap though, and now my "baby sisters" and I are much more friends than just "babysitter/babysittee". Thankful for that. Happy birthday to your sis!

  3. So sweet! My older is sister is 11 years older than me, and 14 years older than our littlest sister, and we are all so close. Closer now that Landry is now 22, because we are all on the adult playing field. Cheers to your continually growing relationship and happy birthday to your sister!!