Twenty three years ago, I wasn’t particularly happy my sister, Audrey, was born (see me looking diabolical as she tries to keep breathing in photo at right). I took out my social challenges through elementary, middle, and high school on her in the form of verbal abuse, but I wised up, she forgave me, and now she is among my best friends.
I am FREAKING LUCKY that I was born first, as she is highly intelligent, funny, gorgeous, and musically/theatrically brilliant. Example 1: I quit playing the piano in sixth grade because she, at the tender age of 7, had surpassed my abilities (And I’m not proud of this, but when she got to middle school, I threw a fit because she wanted to play the French horn, and I was afraid of being surpassed again. She played the trumpet instead and is, of course, totally amazing. She also plays the piano, guitar organ, accordion, and autoharp). Example 2: She double majored in Music Composition and Physics in college. Her senior capstone in music was a recital featuring works for organ, English horn, string quartet, percussion, and electric guitar that she composed, and they were good. Her senior capstone in physics involved building a Stirling engine and thermal battery. Example 3: She was voted “Most Witty” her senior year of high school and now composes hilarious Irish-ish drinking songs for the autoharp. Her facebook status the Friday before she graduated read: “College sucks. I’m quitting tomorrow.”
Fiercely independent, she passionately supports causes that are important to her, regardless of their popularity. GLBTQQIAA rights and comprehensive sex education are two that have benefited from Audrey’s embrace. She also looks like dynamite in neon thrift store finds and, in the light of temporary funemployment post-college, recently started an Etsy shop selling fantastic “successories” she makes from garage saled/thrifted items. Audrey is also an incredible cat mama, having rescued a special needs siamese kitteh.
In spite of the fact that I gave her tons of crap growing up and that she is now quantifiably cooler (see evidence above) than I am, she still wants to be my friend. Even though we live far apart, I am consistently grateful for our in person visits, Facetime and phone chats. Our relationship is the primary reason I am still considering having more than one child, in spite of my own leanings and the extremely convincing social and environmental arguments for single child families (i.e. those found in Maybe One by Bill McKibben). If I could guarantee that any child of mine could have as great a relationship with a sibling as I do with mine, I’d have two kids in an instant. With that, Happy Birthday, Sister! I can’t wait to see what’s next for you.