Yes, the one with the puffy sleeves and chubby cheeks is me...and on my lap is "Min", the baby sis. We are separated by 11 years and 5 siblings, but have always been the best of friends...probably because we never lived together very long! By the time Min was 7, I was off to college. I was married when she was just turning 9. So, with the exception of one glorious year in the same bedroom (don't get me started on her bedtime habits!), most of our bonding has been during our "sleepovers."
When I was a poor newlywed, Min would come for a long weekend. Brad and I would let her pick out her favorite movie ("Big Business" anyone?!) and feed her junk food. When I was a new teacher, Min would come help me set up my classroom every summer. At this point, she was a smart alecky teenager and would go through my pantry making fun of my food. She also mocked my grocery store and the Strawberry Days festival in my new hometown. Her favorite phrase when we'd go clothes shopping: "That's really cute...for you." (Translation: "I would only buy that if I were old, fat and poor...like you.") Min was a know-it-all, but I loved her anyway. She could make me laugh so hard I needed Depends.
Then I moved cross-country and the kids came along. Min was desperately needed! She came for a week every summer. My kids loved her energy and I loved her company during those intense toddler years. One summer, when my oldest two were both in particularly horrible developmental stages, I cried until Brad changed her ticket so she could stay another eight days! Another summer, I kept extending her visit until my mother called and told me to "set her free"...her boyfriend was going to propose the night she got home!
"NOOOOOO!" I could not let this happen. What would happen to our cozy sleepover arrangement once she got a husband? I tried to talk her out of marital bliss. Fortunately, Min got married anyway and her husband is THE BEST. I love him for many reasons, but mostly because he still lets her fly cross-country ever year to give me a week of sanity.
Min is coming for some heat, humidity and hectic-living this week...and I cannot wait. Of course, now you would not recognize her as that smart-mouthed know-it-all. She is the most poised, polished & poetic 20-something I know. In fact, she almost intimidates me. Go read her blog or visit her on-line shop...see what I mean?
I mean, where did the little sis who made me SlimFast and popcorn for dinner learn to bake, decorate and entertain crowds on a shoestring? How did the girl who mocked me all through water aerobics and Jane Fonda find time to train for a 5K run? Will the glamorous blonde with her cool friends, hip clothes and great taste still want to sing "Rainbow Connection" and giggle all night long under the covers?
Yes, she will...and that's why I am counting the hours til her plane comes in.