Today I am reminded of how very grateful I am for my siblings. I'm one of five kids, when I was born I was a little sister, two years later I became a big sister, and for the last 18.5 years I've been the monkey in the middle. I have it all... An older sister, an older brother, a younger brother, and a younger sister.
Through the years I've certainly had my ups and downs with all of them. I think only my youngest sister has escaped a time when we weren't talking to each other. But today when I think of any of the four of them I know that I am lucky. I would not be who I am without any one of them having not been my sister or brother.
Missy... You were always the big sister who knew everything I didn't. At nearly 9 years older than me you were the bridge for me between the kids (who I usually believed I knew better than) and the adults (who were obviously too old to know anything). I didn't appreciate until it was me with the much younger sister how much work went into being the older one. Making sure we were all taken care of on sibling only outings, making sure we had time and memories together. It wasn't until I was even older than that that I realized that no matter how much we disagreed you were always coming from a place of worry and love because I was your little sister. Not just some random person, but someone you'd loved since before I ever got here. I look forward to getting old(er) with you and the memories we have to look forward to. I love you.
Matt... My giant of a big brother. I always knew you'd keep me safe when I was with you. You'll never know how much your ability to always go along with what I wanted to do meant to me. The memories (and pictures!) of dressing up in costume jewellery are priceless. I wish we had less time and distance between us. I am grateful for the role that you've played in making me believe in the safety that can come from a big brothers arms (and warnings to all who may want to hurt his little sister!). Even when I wasn't listening to what you were saying I was hearing it in my heart and I'm grateful for the perspective you gave me. I love you.
Stuart... The one who knows what it's like to live with me all the time (poor you :P). You taught me how to love another person more than myself. With you I exemplified the notion of "Sure I can knock him down but if you do it you will have hell to pay from me". Who besides you will know what is coming when I say "Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontaaaaaario", or will know that when I ride the train I ride it alllll the way. You've wiped my tears and held my hand and kept my secrets. I love you.
Andie... My baby girl. I've wanted you since before you were even concieved. From the minute I first saw you sleeping in our room at a day and a half old I thought you were the most beautiful baby sister I could've imagined. Through you I got to have a sidekick, someone to follow me around believing for a time that *I* held all the answers. Laying in bed with you at night as you told me all the things you knew and loved and were worried about are memories that shaped how I parent today. Now you're an adult too and I cannot wait to see how your life unfolds and make many more memories along with you. I love you.
My siblings. Without them I wouldn't be me. I couldn't be me.