When I was 7 years old I became a big sister. I didn’t get a huge heads up, no 9-month warning or anything… I think I found out a week or so in advance that Kyle would be joining our family. I never cared much for baby dolls or Barbie dolls. I liked dolls that DID stuff, that walked or talked or drew pictures. So I was thrilled to get a real, live BABY to play with. It took a little longer to realize this adorable, giggling creature was my brother. At first, it was more like, “Woah! You move and make noises and eat and pee and I have to be careful not to drop you cuz Mom and Dad would really freak out.”
But after a while, it began to sink in that Kyle was more than just a real-life baby doll. He was my brother, and that made me a sister. When he would talk to other people, he would refer to me as, “my Leah,” similar to “my Mom” or “my Dad.” It was too cute. Since he was so much younger, he had to put up with me dressing him up, dragging him around, putting him in the dryer, and being the butt of my many practical jokes. Fortunately, I don’t think any of it screwed him up too much. He was always incredibly tolerant and to this day he’s a pretty chill dude. Laid back. A good balance to my hyperactivity. Once in a while I’ll get a stern look, but then he gives in to my silliness.
We weren’t ever teenagers at the same time, which is probably a huge relief to our parents. By the time he turned 13, I was already 20 and in my second year of college. But now we get to be in our twenties together, for a few years at least. And then our 30s. And 40s. Craziness.
Happy 20th Birthday, Kyle! I love you bunches.
(365 days til 21!)