Backwards sixteen years. My almost-twelve-year-old world had changed overnight: I had a brand new baby sister. Positively adorable, positively perfect. A real live baby doll to dress and photograph.
When she was little, I helped with a lot of the cooking and cleaning—I helped be a mommy. And I told that little person I’d expect her to pay me back someday by helping with my own dozen or so redheaded children.
I got a head-start on knowing what it was like to be a mommy. But now it’s backwards. I’m living the life I dreamed of at twelve, the life I couldn’t wait for when I was the sweet sixteen she is now. And my beautiful, talented, articulate, educated sister is coming to spend the summer helping me with my little ones.
I’m guessing my own girls will hear the same refrain from her lips, as she cooks their food, cleans up their messes, folds their laundry, and wipes their faces: “Someday, you’ll come help me with my children.”
Then I’ll be the Auntie, my girls will have cousins on my side of the family, and it will feel all backwards again.
Happy Sweet Sixteen, “little” sis! I love you and am so proud of the woman you’ve become! (You’re the sweetest sweet sixteen-year-old I’ve ever known!)