I remember the day my mom told me she was pregnant with my sister. I was in Kindergarten, a little confused, and a lot excited. I remember sitting in the kitchen with my mom after school as she told me about the baby that was coming. I went to school and told everyone I was having a baby (confusing for a five year old) but I claimed her as my own before she even had arrived. I had nine months to prepare for my baby so my parents got me a life size doll and I practiced swaddling, diapers, feeding, and clothing her. (I think I loved on her a little too hard because one of her legs had to be super glued back together, thankfully this didn’t happen with Kate.)
The day she came, I was SO excited to meet her. I remember my mom handing her to me and letting me walk the length of the hospital room with her in my arms (I still question my mothers judgment on letting a six year old carry a newborn, but she said I was trustworthy and far too excited.) As soon as she was back, she was the new prize of our house. My brother and I fought over who got to hold her, I was the “lucky” one who got to share a room with her (I didn’t think I was so lucky when I was in high school) and everywhere I went, she was there. I was her second mommy and she was my baby.
Growing up, she was my mini me, if I said I liked something, she liked it to. This didn’t get too annoying until I grew up and wanted to be “cool.” I abused her devotion to me time and time again, telling her I needed ice cream and I would time how long it took for her to get it for me or convincing her that washing my car was my favorite past time (but if she was lucky, she could do it.) The best was when I told her I wished my room was under the creaky stairs and so we made her a bed and she slept in it for a solid three hours before catching on to my tricks.
Thankfully we couldn’t share clothes until I was out of the house so there weren’t too many fights around stolen tee shirts or missing jeans. As I sat in the airport on Friday afternoon, I started crying. Why? Because she was fulfilling one of her dreams in a matter of hours and the amount of pride I felt for “my baby” totally consumed me. This girl, this woman, she’s a game changer. She sets out to do something and she does it, no matter how long it takes, how much work it requires, or who doesn’t believe it’s possible. She grew into this incredible, gorgeous, intelligent, witty, sarcastic human being and to this day, she’s the first one I text when I need someone (or I’m just bored.)
Sisterhood is a weird relationship. It can be messy, confusing, frustrating, but so freaking filled with love. It’s unlike any other relationship on the planet, it’s this unconditional, “I’ve always got your back,” sometimes you annoy the crap out of me love and to say I am proud of this girl would be an understatement. On Friday Kate represented the Gophers at the Big Ten meet and ran a race (complete with a PR!) that she had dreamed of doing. Kate, you’ll always be my baby sister but I’m so proud of the (crazy fast) woman you are today.