I remember at home when we were little, there would a corner in our TV room with a pile of random Barbies. My sister hated Barbies, and when people didn’t know what to get girls, they would always default to a Barbie. My sister would always just end up throwing those useless things into that corner, and then she would come and play with the toys that our parents got us. We used to build cities with Hot Wheels sets, LEGO complexes that would cover our entire family room, and enact epic battles with action figures. In short, my sister was my partner-in-crime. I can count on one hand the number of times where we’ve actually fought and been mad at each other.
Now, I was a little lovable chubbster growing up. I was not one of the kids who fought or caused trouble, instead, I was the kid with glasses who loved to read. But, I remember distinctly, one night we were at a family friend’s house, and all of the kids were all upstairs playing. I don’t remember exactly what I was doing, but I remembered hearing my sister scream, and I saw that she had gotten into a fight and that a boy had scratched her face. The next thing I remember was me in front of my sister, grabbing this kid’s wrists, squeezed, and twisted. His screams brought all of the adults that didn’t hear my sister’s. After the adults sorted everything out, I got off scot-free, and the little bastard spent the rest of the night hiding underneath a piano. Later that night, when we got home, my mom made sure my sister was alright and put her to bed, and my dad gave me a pat on the head. My parents always raised me to get along with my sister, but after that night I knew they also trusted me to be her protector if need be.
And so, as we grew up we never needed to hang out all the time, but we never lied to each other (even though we would occasionally help each other lie to our parents), and we were always close. We always knew that we had each others’ backs no matter what and if push ever came to shove, there would be hell to pay if someone messed with us. She is my confidante, I can always trust her to listen to me without judgment. She is my fashion consultant, because without her berating I never would’ve developed my sense of style. She mocks my lovelife (or lack thereof) relentlessly, because at the end of day she just wants me to be happy. In short, she is my sister. She’s still as independent, rambunctious, and exuberant as back when we were still in grade school. I still worry about her, but I’m also so damn proud of her. I know that her being in my life has made me a better person, and a better man.
Even though the box says ages 8+, as her big brother, I still buy a LEGO set that we build together on Christmas Day, because that’s what we do, and because according to my sister’s infinite toddler wisdom:
“Barbies are dumb and they don’t do anything.”
Happy birthday, you butt.