I woke up on Friday with a bit of an empty feeling. Perhaps the let down that always seems to follow Christmas was part of it, but I know it was mainly due to the fact that for the 4 mornings previous I had woken up knowing my baby sister was in my house. If I’m going to be entirely honest, the reason I could be sure she was in my house each morning because she was in my bed…we pulled out the couch in the living room so we could partake of our tradition of falling asleep together while giving our commentary on trashy TV shows. This ritual proves even more entertaining when said TV is in German. Brandon, Alley’s boyfriend, and Dave both find this co-sleeping practice a bit unnerving, since it leaves them both sleeping solo and spoonless, but we’ve been doing it since Alley was old enough to escape the crib. A couple of silly boys aren’t about to break that tradition now.
Having my sister with me is the equivalent of taking a mild sedative and/or a hit of that gas the dentist gives you to make you loopy. I become more calm, more happy. My sister can tell me to ‘relax’ or ‘go with the flow’ and achieve the desired objective, while others who try to use those phrases have perished under my fist. All the jokes I’ve formulated in the past few months that seemed too strange to say aloud finally get their voice, and my sister thinks they are HILARIOUS. And speaking of voices, Alley’s presence lets me exercise my high pitched pet-voice that only cats and sisters can understand. My sister gives me a perspective on my life that I can’t see when she is away, making me realize how lucky I am to be in this place, to be married to Dave and mostly, to have Falcor for my Real Boy. Alley has the same enthusiasm for things like word finds and puzzles, and we very seriously high five when we find a word/piece. My sister finds farts and all other body noises to be uproarious. This girl is truly my closest genetic match.
I’m lucky in that I have always had an unusually close relationship with my sister. When we were very young, it consisted of a lot of experiments. I would test the limits of human gullibility by telling her the most outrageous tales and, as a testament to sisterly trust, she believed (and probably still believes today) all of them. As time passed the 5 year age gap became a fascinating study in the progression of female relationships, and as the saying goes our bond ‘stretches and bends but never breaks.’ Now she is an adult in her own right, a gorgeous, intelligent, accomplished maniac who will soon be released from university and into the ‘real world’. We discuss literature and global women’s rights and our parents relationship and our own relationships. We talk about our future plans (to live in each other’s backyards) and our past mistakes. We steal each other’s clothes. Any hint of adolescent jealousy that we once had is gone, and we take pure joy in each other’s triumphs, shed tears for the other’s missteps.
Lucky for me, I get one more hit of that sisterly-high tonight when we meet Alley, Brandon, my mother-in-law and my sister-in-law in Dresden for New Year’s Eve celebrations. And also lucky for me, my mother-in-law and sister-in-law will be coming home with us for one more day of family togetherness, allowing me to do my goodbyes in stages rather than in one fell swoop. Below is a photo montage of Alley’s visit, I call it “Straight Hair, Curly Hair, Many Hats.”