My Sister’s Birthday

February 19, 2011

My sister and I live on opposite ends of the country. I am the city mouse – living in a large, fast-moving, cosmopolitan city, mingling in the riches of our multicultural surroundings and dazzling lights. My sister is the country mouse – she lives in a beautiful little town, nestled in the mountains, mingling with the lush forests,bears and deer and bathing herself in the peaceful tranquility of it all. We’ve lived apart for…well, actually – most of our lives, now that I think about it. I am four years older than she is. Months after she was born – I was starting school, and then by the time she entered high school – I had already graduated. They were 4 big years between us in terms of our life stages. But we also had a lot of fun as children together – typical sibling stuff. Making up silly names for each other (which, by the way, we still go by!). Making a telephone out of paper towel rolls that stretched across our room, so that we could talk in bed (even though we shared the same room.) We’d hide it by slipping it down between the bed and the wall – you know – so our Mom wouldn’t find it. Then there was the dish-washing. We had to take turns washing and drying the dished together every night after dinner – this always ended up with someone’s face being damp and smelling like the sponge. We laughed a lot together.

Years rolled ahead – I worked out west in radio stations while she finished her schooling in the east. More years roll by and I am married with two children (whose Aunt spoiled them regularly!). When I was pregnant with my third child – my sister married and became pregnant with her first…our playing field had levelled somewhat and we were in the same stage of life together – finally! Now she was living out west and I was living back east…and that’s how it remains today. Of course I think of her regularly – but you know how life is…it propels itself forward with such speed (especially once you have children) that there should be some sort of handle or at least an emergency brake. Sometimes you don’t have enough time to just stop – and think. Weeks can go by before we are able to connect by phone – two lives in two time zones…

But tomorrow is my little sister’s birthday – and today I am filled with thoughts of her – wondering what she is doing at this moment (well, actually – she’s sleeping – we are three hours ahead here) but I am wondering what kind of day she’ll wake up to – will the sun be shining like it is here? How will her birthday weekend go? Plans? Dinner?

Today, I am pulling that emergency brake on life and sitting here….just thinking about my sister…with a smile.

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