17 Years

Dear Laura,

I remember June 2, 1992 like it was yesterday. I raced home from Mrs. Young’s fourth grade class to hear the news of your arrival. Would I have another brother, or would I get a sister? I was so excited that I ran right by the pink balloons on the mailbox. I asked Grandma, “Boy or girl?” “Girl!” she replied. I was ecstatic! I couldn’t wait to meet you.

You were so tiny and just like a baby doll. I learned to change your diapers and feed you from the bottle. And every night around 9:00 Andrew and I would try to calm your cries by singing “Laura Kate, Laura Kate, ooh Laura Laura Kate, badoom boom boom.”

Not long after you learned to walk, you were dancing around the house to “Down on Grandpa’s Farm” from Barney, and we couldn’t keep you from climbing all over the furniture! You were such a ball of energy! Mom and Dad enrolled you in gymnastics, and I tried not to be too jealous when you learned to do a backhandspring before I did.

Sometimes, when I wanted time alone with my friends, you would slide your pudgy little hands under my bedroom door, and I couldn’t help but open it and let you in.

I left for college when you were just 8-years-old. But you visited many times, either with Mom and Dad, or on your own. And I drove back to Dover to chaperone your school field trips and attend family visitation days, and I cheered you on at as many gymnastics meets as I could come to.

During Dad’s battle with cancer, you helped to hold down the fort at home. You were just 12-years-old, but you were so mature and compassionate.

And when you got behind the wheel, I tried to be less motherly and more cool big sisterly. But I couldn’t help pressing the imaginary pedal and telling you things I knew you already knew. Part of me will always want to protect you.

Today you’re sweet and considerate and a good judge of character. You’re artistic and smart and athletic; you’re a superstar in not one, but two, sports — placing 7th in the state in diving and 6th in the state in high jump! You want to be a nurse, and I think you’ll make a fantastic one. I’m so proud of you!

Oh, and you’re the only gal I know who doesn’t mind eating king crab legs while wearing a homecoming gown!

I love you, sis! Happy 17th birthday!

5 thoughts on “17 Years

  1. As a Mother, one of my goals has always been to have our children support each other and to be friends. When Laura arrived 10 years after you, I thought this might be an impossible task. Thanks for making it come true! You are an amazing Big Sister to Laura (and Andrew too).
    Love MOM

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