Happy 30th, Little Sister

Somewhere in Seattle, 3,000 miles away, my sister is celebrating her 30th birthday.

Karrie and I are 17 months apart, and while I would like to say this meant that we grew up the best of friends, merrily crayoning, pulling off Barbie's limbs, and playing hop-scotch in the driveway side-by-side, the reality of growing up so close in age basically meant that our mother dressed us as twins in identical outfits until we became hip to her tactic (long about the ages of 22 and 23, respectively) and put a stop to it. Until I went away to college, Karrie and I pursued our graduate degrees in sibling rivalry.

When I was two, and she a mere one, I clubbed her in the forehead with one of our wooden blocks, retaliating, no doubt, for a massive wrong she had committed against me. It resulted in four stitches for her, and an extended stay at my grandmother's house for me.

And I followed up that trick with another one when I was four years of age. I convinced her to let me play hair stylist, and I hacked off her then long, thick, blond and flowing locks the day before she was to have her pictures taken at a department store. This attack was clearly spurned by jealousy, because while my hair was long as hers was, it was decidedly not thick, not blond, and certainly not flowing.


Lest you think she was blameless, she pronged me in the head with a fork when I was 10, having lain in wait for just the right moment to get me back for past wrongs.

But once I had left for school, well...I was surprised to realize that I missed her. Even more surprising was the fact that she missed me! We wrote each other long letters. We shared (dark, gothic, and drink-yourself-into-a-depressive-state) music via that icon of the early 90s, the mix tape. She came to visit me at school, and she joined my friends and me on roadtrips- to see the Cure in Pittsburgh, Nine Inch Nails at Madison Square Garden.

We grew close while we were separated, and when she headed to Florida and later Washington for college it was difficult. And when she decided not to head back East after completing college in Seattle nine years ago, it totally sucked.

So today, I'll toast my little sister on her milestone birthday from the city in which we were born, while she celebrates across the country.

She who is an amazing artist, who is so selfless with her talent that she spent countless hours of her free time six years ago painting 20 travel-themed watercolors for the tables at our wedding reception. She who created this amazing and gorgeous Goodnight Moon sign for Isabella's first birthday.


She who is so smart, so giving, so eco-conscious.

She who is a true fashionista, and who has more style sense in her pinky finger than I do in my entire housecoat-sporting, patterned sock- and silver, hologram Doc Marten-wearing body.

And she who is a fierce friend, and a devoted sister.

Happy 30th birthday, Karrie. I love you.

8 Responses to “Happy 30th, Little Sister”

  1. # Blogger kenju

    I LOVE the picture! I have similar ones of my two girls, who are 2 1/2 years apart. They are still majoring in sibling rivalry - I am sad to say - and the older one didn't even say happy birthday to her little sister this past week. I hope someday they will realize each other's good points and become friends.  

  2. # Anonymous Melissa Garrett

    Very nice Kristi!

    My older sister and I are almost five years apart and constantly bickered. We even got into some real knock-down, drag-out fights. She was pretty spunky for being 5'2 and 90 pounds! It took us a long time to see each other's good points ;-)  

  3. # Blogger My Wombinations

    So sweet! I am so thankful for my own sister and our relationship. Posts like these make me sure that I do not want Sam to be an only child. Is there any relationship that is more important?  

  4. # Anonymous Shannon

    Here you go, Kristi! Photos from the surprise party that Jud (and myself) concocted to scare the bejeezus out of her, complete with Surprise Visit from Your Mom!

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/pbrchicken/sets/72157602586711012/

    It was a fun party. Karrie will never forgive Jud for this one. :)  

  5. # Blogger Binulatti

    AWWW!! I can't believe you made me tear up at work! I'll get you back for this, I swear!

    But really. My dear, sweet, OLDER sister. Thank you for the shout-out. It was one memorable milestone, as you know, complete with MOM dropping in from NY, unexpectedly. You really coulda clued me into that one. I can keep a secret, and clearly so can you.

    PS: I love you too. I still play those mix tapes, you know ;-)  

  6. # Blogger Tracey

    Very sweet. Happy birthday to your sister, and I'm glad you guys have become so close. I have 2 sisters and though we played a lot growing up, we've gotten so much closer as adults.  

  7. # Blogger Kristi

    Kenju-Oh, that's so sad. My sister and I fought as all kids do, but in our case absence made the heart grow fonder. I hope your daughters realize what a treasure sisters are someday.

    Melissa-lol. Yes, it was the same way with Karrie and me.

    Sasha-I completely agree. I want Isabella to have a sibling so she can experience what I have with my sister.

    Shannon-Thank you so much for these pictures!

    Karrie-I can only imagine what the combo of mom and your friends was actually like. Luckily, Shannon gave me some visuals.

    Tracey-I'm so lucky to have the reltionship with my sister that I do. It's definitely grown as we have!  

  8. # Blogger Shannon

    such a cool birthday post for your sister... and don't worry I did horrible things to my sister too... and I was 5 years old and knew better lol...  

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