It’s been 13 days since I last saw you, just as many years as you’ve consumed my life. And maybe that seems negligible; 13 days isn’t even two weeks, but I’ve thought of you more than you know. I’ve missed you more than I thought I would at this point. You know how much I love being on my own but hey, you know how much I love being at home with you.
When you tell me about your friends, about school, or even about your impromptu snacks, I’m rapt with attention. It could be 2 P.M. or 2 A.M., I’m always ready to hear any detail you want to share. When you told me you were taking French because of how much I loved it, I thought I’d cry with happiness. When you told me you were enjoying choir and maybe you’d do theater in high school, I felt so proud. You don’t have to do the things I did, but it makes me so proud to see you trying things, discovering who you are, and developing into an extraordinary young lady. I can’t wait to see the absolute explosion you’ll make next year in high school.
You’re almost in high school.
You’re thirteen this year. I’ve played that sentence over and over in my mind and still it never sounds real. I never thought my little sister could reach such a… mature age. I’m not sure why, but even as I imagined myself blossoming into some strong, confident adult, I couldn’t comprehend you growing past age ten. Eleven at the oldest, for sure. I mean, you’re my baby sister. To me that’s what you’d always stay: a baby. And I promise, that sentiment will probably never go away, so go ahead and get over it. I know it can get incredibly annoying, but you know I do it with all the love I’ve got. Sometimes I don’t know if you really understand just how much love I have, especially when it comes to you. I don’t know if you really understand just how much you consume my mind, as well as my heart. You’re the most important person I have ever or will ever know, and don’t you ever doubt that. Above Mom, above Dad, above anyone and everyone. To me you’ll always come first. I know when we argue it may not seem that way (and sure, we argue enough for four siblings, much less just you and me).
My entire point with this was that I know it’s hard right now. I know it sucks, being thirteen, and it can be especially hard without someone around to understand. (Mom and Dad do their best, but sometimes you just need a sister’s help.) And I’m sorry I can’t be at home; you know how much I’d kill to get to see your beautiful, smiling face every day. (I can say that even more because we look exactly the same.) I know you miss me too. Don’t even try to lie; you know Mom told me how you’ve started sleeping in my bed. But you know that I’m always with you, even when I’m a two-hour car ride away. You know I’d do anything in this world for you, and you also know that’s never going to change. Growing up can really suck, kiddo, but I’m out here fighting the battle so maybe yours won’t be so bad. So please don’t think I’m far away. I’m always as close as any phone, and I’m always ready to listen. Thirteen is a hard year to get through and to be honest, it’s going to be a couple hard years as you grow into a young adult. But I know how brave, talented, smart, and loving you are, and I know you can handle any obstacle that could ever stand in your way. Even still, never be afraid to ask for help. I’ll push mountains, I’ll grab the moon; hell, I’ll run a marathon for you, and you know how much I hate exercise. So just because you’re technically the only kid in the house (even though the dog acts like a toddler) don’t think you’re alone. I always have your back, and as long as we stick together, there’s nothing in this world that can break us. You’re my rock, you’re my reason, you’re my best friend, but most importantly, you are and will forever be my little sister.