Today, my sister turned 21. She's fully a legal adult. If she wants, she can legally drink, smoke, vote, join the military, get married, drive, and own property (okay, most of that she could do by age 18, but still).
I remember when she was born (okay, not literally, because I was in school and I don't remember much of anything about that school day other than wanting to be at the hospital). I remember us bringing her home from the hospital. It was cold so there were several layers of blankets over her car seat. We went out to eat that night. She was 3 days old. 2 or 3 days later, on Christmas, our mother put her under the tree with a bow stuck to her head like she was a present.
I remember singing Disney songs with her and her insisting that I sing the boy parts (because she wasn't going to). I'm pretty sure I usually sang both parts, much to her frustration. I don't remember most of our games, but I know that we did play together.
We shared a room for 6 years. Her things were almost always thrown everywhere. My stuff was usually a little messy but easily cleaned up. We were almost like complete opposites personality wise. She was a morning person and I have always seemed to prefer night to morning. Our age difference didn't help us grow close, despite being in such close proximity. We started doing better when we stopped sharing a room.
I missed seeing her for most of her teen years. Moving to Tulsa and then stopping contact with my mom made my relationship with her strained. I felt like I was abandoning her for my own sanity and she apparently felt like I was just another person in a long string who left. I still hurt because of that. But we've talked this stuff over. I'm pretty sure we've worked most of it out. I hope she knows that I am open to hearing from her and talking to her at any time. I hope she knows how much I love her.
I feel like I left her while she was still forming her personality. I don't really fully know who my sister is any more. She's still the wonderful, sweet, caring person that I saw when she was 2, but she's also this strange and mysterious adult who I've not gotten much of a chance to get to know. She's had experiences that I wasn't there for or there to talk to about. I haven't gotten to be the protective big sister that I still am. I feel like she and I are worlds apart still.
My little sister, okay she's taller but she's still my little sister, is an adult. And I'm hoping that someday I'll get a chance to get to know her better.