SparkNotes Blog

Open Letter: Little Sister

Dear Little Sis,

By the time you are capable of reading and understanding this – if you ever read this -I will probably be in my own house, and you will probably ignore me and use me for my clothes. But, I love you, and I always will. Most of the time you areabsolutely adorable. That little thing you do when you wrap your tiny arms around my neck, kiss my cheek, and say, “I love you, Tarah.” It kills me. I just can’t get enough of it.

I also love that you can speak coherently now. Although you don’t use your words sometimes; my life isso much easier now that you can verbalize that you’d prefer the pink over the purple dress, and green bows make you go insane. Sorry about that, Butter-bean. Really, I had no idea, and neither did Mom.

You are five years old now, and seeing your imagination at work has been a blast. It’s unbelievably cute watching you use the remote as a telephone…I really wish you’d stop hiding it though. Putting it in the freezer was a good idea: we never would have looked there.

When you first came home, tiny, wrinkled and amazingly adorable I never thought you’d turn into such a comedian, or ‘fashionista’. Thank you for letting me know my sense of fashion is in no way near princess material; then giving me a total make-over. I still have some pink on my favorite t-shirt and boots. And when you jump on my bed and sing “Let It Go” at the top of your little lungs I find it hilariously entertaining — and contagious. In fact, I’m not sure I’ve stopped humming it since you learned the whole song; and every time I do I have a strange desire to hop on my bed. Thank you for that, princess, almost everything you do cracks me up these days.

But listen up, my 3-foot little friend,

You won’t be a toddler forever. I know; It is the greatest thing since your first sock monkey. But, pretty soon, the ‘being cute’ thing will start wearing thin. You’re going to have to back it up with some serious substance. After all, the world is full of formerly adorable little ones who couldn’t quite cut it in the next level. I’ve lived in this house 11 more years than you have, and I’ve seen more of the world as well. Here’s some advice:

Be nice to humans: Don’t be the athletic chick cracking jokes on the ‘nerd’ in the locker room. Don’t be the nerd making fun of the athletic chick in science class. Be the kid who is nice to everyone. I know, it is extremely hard sometimes. Sometimes being kind is uncomfortable. Sometimes, it means helping the underdog, or being the underdog. Remember being popular doesn’t matter, it will only give you a false sense of self later on in life. Nobody really cares who was the popular kid in school when school is over – they are regular people, love. Take the high road. Also code for hard road. Hold your head high, be brave, be yourself, go for it.

Go to college: Daddy and Mummy will probably advocate this one for me, big time. College is not only a place to get a higher education and increase your chances in a successful career. There is really no other place where you can learn so much, meet new people, find new interests, finally design real princess dresses if you want to. Don’t think you can’t. You can, I believe in you. Plus, there are a TON of cuties.

Let yourself love and be loved: I know, I may sound hypocritical. I may seem distant sometimes, but, I am working on it. I still love our whole family and no, you are not too annoying for me to tuck in at night. Sometimes, there will be moments where you feel like a disappointment, not accepted or understood, and will turn away from people.  If you ever feel that way don’t worry, I understand, I’ve been there. You can definitely come to me if you want to. Just know that the positive relationships you have in life will be a necessity when things get overwhelming.  So, embrace all that love and don’t be afraid to love back.

Which brings me to,

Let yourself be broken: There will be moments in your precious and chaotic life where crappy things will happen. Maybe someone broke your crayon, trashed your tea party, told you not to wear a tutu toschool. Maybe someone broke your heart. Maybe you were betrayed and now your spirit is very much broken. Just take a deep breath, and let yourself feel all of those feelings. It’s okay to cry if you have to. I have tissues around here somewhere and both of my shoulders. I know the pain will be incredibly annoying, but, brokenness leads to growth. You will learn from those mistakes, hurts, and experiences. The good news is that even though the pain is real and terrible and feels like it will probably kill you, it will get better. I promise. Breathe, cry, feel, ask for help. Tackle it day by day.  I’m here for you – with the Band-Aids.

Know that you are beautiful: Having gone through many different self esteem problems myself I understand sometimes you may feel like you’re not enough. You are enough. You are beautiful. You are smart, and capable. Beauty is more than what you see in the media: wearing lingerie and being really thin isn’t the only type of ‘beauty’. Being normal looking and wearing actual clothes is awesome and I personally think it’s a more realistic and authentic beauty. Plus, personality is an amazing thing, sweetie, and you have a freaking awesome one. I understand people judge by looks before they get to know you, but, guess what? You will meet people who won’t care about your clothes, or the fact that your face doesn’t look like that chick on the cover of Vogue. You don’t need to wear lingerie (you better not wear lingerie)…to find someone to ‘love’ you. That’s another topic for another letter. But, you CAN be ‘weird’ and have a significant other. Who defines ‘weird’ anyway? The chicks in the lingerie? Just pause for a minute and think about the people you see everyday …I’ll wait…… Done? … Good. Now, did majority of those people look like Lingerie Chicks? ….Nope! That is the real deal and sadly, people think it is weird or ugly- especially if you let your personality show. Guess we’re all just a bunch of weirdos, huh? I think we should love ourselves for it.

Simply because, ‘weird’ is awesome in many, many aspects of the word. You have way more fun than ‘normal’ people. You probably will have far more genuine friendships, and romantic relationships. You are intriguing and much more amiable when you embrace your weirdness. Did you know all awesome things are accomplished by weird people? Sure, don’t believe me. But, what do you think abstract art is? Carefully co-ordinated Color-By-The-Numbers? It’s not, someone let themselves be themselves and created a masterpiece curiously yet confusingly stared at by so many art-fans. It very well could’ve have been that artist’s  older sister, too. *smile*  So, scribble-scrabble, Munchkin. That may be up there with Da Vinci one day…

Follow your dreams may sound cliché and trite, but you have no idea how many people are pressured into lives they actually don’t want to lead. Don’t be afraid to lead your own, as long as you are making positive choices, I will support you fully. Do you want to be an actress? Go for it. Do you want to be a nurse and a juggling circus clown on the side? Knock yourself out. I wish I could say dreams don’t take work, but the truth is it is a labor of love. Sometimes you don’t get paid for following your dreams for awhile. That’s okay. Follow them anyways. Follow them on the weekends, weeknights, and thosemoments when it may be easier to just give up. Don’t give up, little sis. No matter what, I’m here for you. Expect another letter soon, Kid. I’m just getting started.

With hugs, kisses and love,

Your Big Sis

Originally published on January 22, 2015.