It would have been intimidating growing up with such a beautiful big sister if she had been the type to criticize or belittle.
But I was blessed with Brenda.
Sure, she liked to tease me sometimes, and even lost her temper with me once or twice, but given that I was a brat for at least the first ten years of my life...okay, twenty... the way she treated me could qualify her for sainthood.
How many teenage girls let their baby sisters tag along on dates? (Did I mention I was a brat?) How many volunteer to go on school field trips? How many take their little sisters and her friends to the beach, or Astroworld, or on crazy fast spins through the neighborhood in their Volkwagon Bugs? (Don't tell anyone about that one!)
How many buy their family a green artificial Christmas tree and new ornaments to hang on it without being asked because their little sister ended up in the emergency room the year before with asthma triggered by a real tree?
When their parents are overwhelmed with worry and care over their recently paralyzed son, how many big sisters go overboard with gifts for their baby sister to make sure she still has a Merry Christmas?
When their nineteen-year-old sister finishes a stupidly scary book (Amityville Horror!), how many big sisters not only allow her to spend the night, but agree to sleep in the same room with her, as well, despite her husband's grumbling?
Yes, growing up with a big sister who is your best friend is one of the sweetest sweet!s ever. And since today is her birthday, I hope the coming year is jam-packed and overflowing with sweetness for her, because she has given everyone around her so much sweetness all of her life.
And here are a few more sweet!s from the past two weeks (how did I get so far behind?)...
Friday: lunch with a dear long-time friend, and then surprising your mom with a visit from her
Saturday: sleeping in, when you're exhausted; a visit with your mom and son and grandpuppy, all at the same time
Sunday: Garden of Eatin' inspiration
Monday: your old puppy waiting for you on the porch, stronger and eager for a morning walk; the miracle of arriving on time when you've left late and hit lots of traffic; finding just the right place for two of your clients after a long search
Tuesday: watching your old puppy swim again; a friend reminding you to stay positive; seeing your coach on television during her mission trip to help the children on the border; exploring east Austin with your son, including free food and drinks, courtesy of Google; learning how to be a DJ
Wednesday: singing along to the Cowboy and the Princess with your mom; making it to your belly-dancing class after missing two weeks; the neighbor to your lot listing helping you hammer your sign back in when some other useless being has pulled it up and tossed it onto your lot
Thursday: your old puppy's appetite returning, slowly but surely; a friend taking the time to teach your mom how to create newborn knitted caps
Friday: an offer on one of your residential listings and a call on one of your lot listings; issues with Russia calming down as your son and daughter-in-law prepare to leave for a vacation in Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Amsterdam
Saturday: negotiations; two more calls on your listings; getting together with long-time friends you've known since high school or beyond
Sunday: catching a young fox in your headlights; Facebook, so you can enjoy photos of your son's trip to Russia
Monday: saving a wolf spider; a closing for one of your buyers!; just the inspiration you need waiting for you in your mailbox, thanks to a dear friend
Tuesday: hiking around two Texas Hill Country acres with a client; Chinese food with friends and great fortune-cookie fortunes
Wednesday: meeting Leon at HEB who give you a free car wash because your car really needs it; finally getting the hang of some of your belly-dancing moves
Thursday: joining forces with other parishioners to make your church Oktoberfest a success
Friday: learning more about the Circuit of the Americas racetrack at a local Chamber of Commerce meeting; getting a tour of the wedding venue that happens to be your neighbor
Saturday: getting to drive your own car after two days, thanks to your husband fixing your flat tire (yes, another one!); a gorgeous sunset and then moonrise over your hollow
Sunday: being able to wish your sister a happy birthday, and let her know how grateful you are for her
An older sister is a friend and defender - a listener, conspirator, a counsellor and a sharer of delights. And sorrows too.