Ever since I can remember, I wanted a little sister. All of my friends had brothers or sisters and I felt left out that I didn’t get one too.
Mom and Dad were young when they had me, and I remember asking them all the time if I could have a sister. I would think about how cool it would be if I had someone to play Barbies with or watch Disney movies with. How fun it would be to share my beach toys on family vacations and have someone who’d actually want to sit in the ocean water puddles with me.
As the years went on and I still was sisterless, I started accepting the fact that it was never gonna happen. I was going to be an only child for the rest of my life and miss out on the fun sister stuff I saw in the movies. Accepting something out of your control is never an easy thing. Especially for an almost 11 year old.
September 1995 was a typical month. Yet another family beach vacation came around. It was nice because Uncle Erin and Grandma and Grandpa Greene were all able to make it, which sometimes didn’t happen. We all kind of figured it was going to be Grandma and Grandpa’s last family vacation because they were simply getting too old to travel.
One night after dinner, I was eating Whoppers with Papa and joking around about who knows what, probably something stupid that only I thought was funny. I remember I was carrying on and getting kind of loud when Dad called downstairs for me to come up to their room. I got nervous because I thought I was in trouble for being loud.
When I got upstairs to their room, Dad was sitting on the bed and Mom was putting stuff away in the closet. Dad told me to come in and shut the door. Then I got really nervous. Whatever I was getting in trouble for was real serious.
I don’t know if this really happened or not, you know how memories get kind of cloudy. But I swear they were just staring at me and then looking at each other and there was this heavy pause that hung in the air for like ever.
Dad said they had something to tell me.
He said I was going to be a big sister.
Never in my life before this moment had I wept with joy. And I honestly don’t think I’ve happy cried so hard since then.
I had just given up. I had just accepted that I wasn’t going to have any siblings. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing and that I was going to get something I’d wanted for so long.
May 1996 was one of the most exciting months ever. Mom was going to be induced, so I don’t think I even slept at all the night before. I stayed at Nana and Punkin’s that night because Mom was going to the hospital at like 6:00 am. As soon as I woke up on the 17th I was antsy to get to the hospital. It was probably only 8:00 or 9:00 in the morning, but I did not want to miss my sister being born. I wanted to be the first person she saw (after Mom and Dad of course.)
I don’t remember what time Nana and I got to the hospital, but I remember walking into Mom’s room thinking I’d see you already. I was 11 ½ and didn’t understand how long it took to get a baby out I guess. I packed a little bag of stuff to do, but I couldn’t focus. I sat in the waiting room for an eternity and just waited. Every time Dad came out, I got all excited thinking you were here. At lunchtime, Nana took me to Taco Bell, which was our hangout spot and I got the same thing I always got- two double decker tacos. Man do I miss those.
When we came back to the hospital, I thought surely you must be here by now! Nope. Even back then you were in no hurry to jump into anything.
I don’t remember the rest of the afternoon. What I did or what I spent my time thinking about. I don’t really remember who else was around, but I’m sure lots of family and friends were in and out of the waiting room. At one point, I remember laying on the waiting room couch with my head and arms draped over the seat cushions and complaining that you were taking too long. Nana started laughing and said I wasn’t allowed to be mad at my little sister before she was even here. That was the first time I heard “little sister” being applied to me, and it was the best feeling in the world.
At 6:37 pm, you finally let me stop waiting. As soon as I could, I made my way down the hallway to Mom’s room. I was nervous and excited and saw my future flash before my eyes. I thought of how amazing it was going to be to have you. How much I already loved you and couldn’t wait to babysit you. How fun it was going to be to watch you grow up and experience life. How fascinating it would be to see who you were going to look like or act like.
With my heart beating a thousand miles a second, I pushed open the door and peeked in. There you were. A teeny tiny little person bundled up in Mom’s arms with the fluffiest head of hair I’d ever seen on a baby.
That’s my little sister. That’s my little sister.
I remember that day like it was 21 seconds ago, not 21 years. You are more than I could have ever imagined. Not for one second do I wish I had a sister closer to my age. I always joke how you’re everything I’m not. And really, you are. My love for you runs deeper than anything I’ve ever felt. I’m so proud of who you are and who you want to be. I feel so honored to have you in my life, and I thank God every day for you. I never want you to ever feel alone in this world or hurt or that you are less than amazing. I want you to reach every goal you ever strive for. I want you to have a life full of love and laughter and adventure.
When I think back on my life for the past 21 years, my best memories are with you. Camping. Being asked ridiculous questions as I’m trying to go to sleep. Taking you to see Disney movies the day they came out. Sissy days going to the mall and buying you cute clothes at Limited Too or cute jewelry at Claire’s. Spending some of my first paychecks on shirts or stuffed animals or the Powerpuff girls soundtrack for you. Getting that little Belle snowglobe from you for my graduation (which still sits on my dresser, by the way.) Having you come visit me in my first apartment. Seeing you in your bridesmaid dress and thinking how grown up you look. Taking you to concerts, and then you taking me. Seeing you grow into a spiritual woman and dedicate your life to serve God. Talking with you about mature things like friendships or boys or spirituality or careers.
You amaze me all the time with who you are. I definitely got the better end of the deal by having you as my sister. I’m so incredibly thankful to have you in my life, and I can’t wait to see what else you amaze me with in the years to come.
Ok, I’m going to go wipe my tears off my computer now 🙂
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