Tomorrow, the thirtieth of June, two thousand twelve, my little sister is getting married.
I could start out by going through all of the embarrassing stories we’ve shared together since we were little, but I wouldn’t know where to start. Plus, they’re better told in person when I can use my hands.
No, instead I thought I’d take a different route.
My sister and I were close all through our childhoods. We’d play school with all my parents’ teaching supplies, grocery store with my mom’s hand-held steamer as a checker-gun, and house with our Fisher-Price kitchen set full of fake foods and utensils.
Eventually we matured to bigger and better things. Like jumping on our huge trampoline for hours on end. Or driving to Target for no reason and walking around just for the fun of it once I got my driver’s license. These trips would inevitably lead to us getting to the checkout and my sister then telling me how she “forgot” her money. It worked the first few times. But after about the fifth occasion of this happening the jig was up and quickly put to a stop when I made her stand there (at the register mind you), go through her stuff, and pick the one thing that I’d buy for her. How embarrassing … for her.
At any rate, over the years I tried to play that big brother role. I’d help with homework and projects, pick her up at her friends’ houses (which is not an easy task if you know anything at all about how she gives directions), go to all the dance recitals. Etcetera, etcetera. Oh. And help her hide the aftermath of the parties she would throw (not to my knowledge) when my parents were vacationing. That help was simple. Only had to say, “I’d probably take the beer cans off the roof.”
No matter what it was, I always wanted to be there for her. For my sister and my friend.
But I also want her to know how much I’ve appreciated how she’s always been there for me, in ways she’s probably not even known.
When I came out nearly ten years ago I was terrified. Scared of what would happen and worried about disappointing my friends and family. But when I told her, she didn’t even blink an eye. Just sat down by me on my parents’ upstairs couch and proceeded to ask if I had a boyfriend like it was nothing. She has stood by me one-hundred percent ever since. I’ve never had to question her love, and hope that she always will remember how much that moment and the support and unconditional love that followed has meant to me for all these years. And always will.
Now today, the day before her wedding, I can say I’m once again a lucky and happy big brother. Because she met a man with whom I didn’t have to play that same big brother and watch out for her.
She’s with an amazing guy who loves and respects her.
And as a big brother, you couldn’t ask for anything more.