I remember terrorizing you as a baby.
I remember how you used to follow me around like my shadow.
I remember the silly song we made about our Max and how we used to sing it nonstop, like a broken record.
I remember how you used to be obsessed with peanut butter on Saltine crackers...oh, and the time you dipped your popcorn in mustard (I still think you're a freak).
I remember cheering your name at all of your softball games.
I remember doing your make up for your prom.
I remember gallivanting around town with Mom taking your senior pictures.
I remember the day you graduated from High School...
and giving you your special photo collage.
I remember how sad I felt at my bon voyage party thinking about saying goodbye and living abroad for so long.
And how happy we were when you came to visit me in England.
I remember the summer when we went Kayaking together for the first time.
and our silly summer bike rides...
And I remember when my little baby sister turned 21 and had her first 'Woo Woo' cocktail.
But up until last night, it hadn't dawned on me how fast the past 23 years have gone. I still remember blowing bubbles and building blanket forts with you, how can you be so grown up already? How can it be that my little baby sister isn't so little any more? Yesterday it finally sunk in that you're no longer that cute little girl who used to tag along beside me on adventures through the woods, do cannon balls into our swimming pool, and tattle to Dad when I'd stolen some of his mini Reese's from inside the coffee table. Instead, you're a beautiful, intelligent, kind hearted, independent young woman who is my very best friend in the whole wide world.
Yesterday you walked across a big stage, shook hands with the president of Castleton State College and graduated with a BA in Developmental Psychology. As I sat in a friends house all the way across the pond in jolly ol' England, I admired the beautiful photos Mom was sending of your graduation day and I cried. I cried because I wished I was there to cheer obnoxiously loud as your name was announced. I cried because I couldn't give you a congratulatory hug and kiss like a big sister should. I cried because you looked so happy and I wasn't able to share that with you. I cried because I still can't believe you're old enough to have graduated from college. I cried because I am so unbelievably proud of you that I'm struggling to understand how I've not exploded. I cried because now you're finally free to really spread your wings and make all of your dreams come true. I cried because I'm so happy for you and I want you to promise me you'll dream big and do whatever/go wherever makes you happiest.
Sonya, you're one of the most special people in my life and it doesn't matter if you're 2 or 60, I will always be your big sissy. I want you to remember that I will always be here to support you in all that you do. I'll pick you up and dust you off when you fall down. I'll try my best to offer advice and guidance. When you're sad I'll make silly monkey faces and remind you of the time I was attacked by Captain Hook in the bathtub. I'll wipe your cheeks when tears roll down. I'll stand beside you when you need a friend. I'll tell you when you're being a shit head and you know I have no problem kicking you in the ass when you're being miserable and stubborn. I want you to always remember that I want the very best for you in life and if you ever need me I will always be there. I promise.
Congratulations on your graduation from college, baby Sheester! You rock and I am bursting with pride :)
I love you so much it hurts and I can't wait to shower you in hugs and kisses as soon as I land in July. But in the meantime, dream big!