The story of you will always be told differently in my book. Even though Mom and Dad have ultrasounds and legal documents, I know the conception of you happened somewhere between my childhood dreams and the grace of God. You are mine in a way that nothing ever has been or will be again. Even though my body bears no physical proof, the scars on my heart where you’ve stretched and made a home are evidence that you have lived here too.
I remember wrapping my arms around Mom’s swollen belly and whispering my excitement to you through layers of flesh and fluid. When you were finally born, I held you with shaking arms marveling at how something so fragile could kick so hard. I remember trying to absorb every detail about you – the length of your eyelashes, the curvature of your lips, the absolute tininess of your fingernails.
You taught me how to change a diaper, how to properly play hide-and-seek, and how to simultaneously grocery shop while singing every known version of “The Itsy Bitsy Spider.” Most importantly, you taught me how to love something more than myself. I never knew what head-over-heels, take-a-bullet, life-on-hold love was until you came into the world.
I’ve watched you crawl and walk, ride bikes and read. I’ve watched your face change in the reflection of my rear view mirror. I have suppressed tears at every school performance and I finally understand what adults mean when they say, “it goes by so fast.”
Your firsts were my firsts and I have delighted in every single step. You are my friend, my tiny teacher, my inspiration. You are my sister.