When I was four years old, my parents had a second little girl and named her Kaitlynn. This little bundle of pink joy would be a thorn in my side for the next 14 or so years. She stole my jewelry, my clothes, mouthed off, told on me, and crafted creative stories to get me into trouble over and over again.
It’s easy to overlook what a younger sibling goes through. I had spectacular grades and my sister had to go into those same classrooms with expectations that she would be her big sister. I had awards for music, literature, and art around the house and left big shoes to fill. I still have the clay mug with a tulip on it that she made for me to look like a pitcher with a rose I had made on a pottery wheel the year before.
She still likes to tell the story about the only time I ever hit her. After years of her poking and torment, I punched her only once and stuck her braces into her cheek. It never happened again. 🙂
She spent a lot of her life trying to live up to mine, but I was always more jealous of her than I let on. She has a lot of traits that I still will probably just never have.
Katie is bold and outspoken. She’s never let anyone walk on her who wasn’t signing her checks and I envy that. That attitude goes beyond herself and extends to the way she takes care of everyone else. She’s loyal and it takes a lot more to break her down than me. She’s protective of her friends and especially of the Bugs and I.
Katie’s been through a lot and come out okay. My gorgeous little sister was viciously attacked by an Akita (read: big effin’ dog) when she was only 12. It had been left out in a cage to starve and tried to eat her when she went to feed it for the neighbors. The scars still cover her top half, but you know what? That girl will still go out and rock a bikini. The mean girls gave it to her hard with bullying from that point on, but she didn’t slow down. She’s still a beautiful freaking rockstar.
Katie is extremely talented. Much more so than she really gives herself credit for. When I was a teenager, it was my little (then only 13) sister who did my hair for prom. You would have never known with my to-the-belt-line curled and pinned up perfectly, that I had cheaped out and asked my sister instead of going to a salon that year. She’s also looking at a future after college is all finished in professions that I couldn’t do in a million years (I’m squeamish). She talks about being a nurse or a hygienist. (With some talks about forensics, but we’ve both considered that one.)
You are an awesome sister who’s becoming an amazing woman. I can’t wait to see all of the things you will accomplish and I love you more than I can tell you in words. Happy 20th Birthday my little Squidget. We love you very much.