One time when I came down for a visit I was holding you in a big hug – the kind where neither one of us lets go for a minute or so – and noticed that your legs were hanging down to my knees. “How did you get so big?” I asked you. You pulled back, looked at me completely seriously and answered, “I was a baby and then I got bigger. Babies grow and then they are kids.”
I’m not an expert on these things, but I think you are no longer technically a toddler, which is weird. You went from a baby to a toddler, which was also a weird transition, and now you are this child running around and doing your own thing. You make up games that usually include drums and being loud and laughing – lots of laughing. You are so much fun and it surprises me sometimes because who knew little kids could be such good company?
In the past year you flew a plane, learned about death, went to Disneyworld, discovered the magic that is Chuck E. Cheese, got engaged to a girl in your class (although you two have wisely decided on a long engagement – why rush?), wished on stars for a drum set, got a drum set, visited my house in Chico, pumped on the swings all by yourself, and basically rocked the house when it came to preschool. I don’t know what this year has in store but I’m pretty sure it includes you bringing The Awesome at all times.
The play structure Daddy set up is pretty sweet, with the exception of that Slide of Death. What the hell is up with that thing? It’s the steepest slide ever and probably illegal. And yet you go down it, catch air, and land on your feet every time. I sat at the top practically pissing myself because it pretty much screams out “trip to the emergency room” and I am a big baby. You stood at the bottom and said, “You can do it, Sissy!” I love your unfailing faith in my ability not to crack my head open, and your honest encouragement. It’s hard to say no to you, and so I risked a bruised tush over a bruised ego. It was terrifying but fun. Kind of like dealing with a preschooler.
For the most part you are sheer joy: funny, articulate, kind, throwing jazz hands and using your imagination. But sometimes you lose your shit and it’s like, “Where did this demon-child come from?” I hear that this is all very normal: testing boundaries and all that fun stuff. Luckily the good days far outweigh the bad, and I haven’t had to morph into Mean Sissy too many times. Not sure which upsets me more: seeing you so unhappy or hearing my mother’s voice come out of my mouth when I have to be The Adult.
You told me once, in reference to your new play structure, that “the fun never stops.” That is exactly how I feel about being your sister and knowing you. Thank you for being the best baby brother and best friend a girl could wish for.