PRELUDE: Yesterday was my little sister’s 20th birthday. They grow up so fast don’t they? Despite an almost 13 year gap between us, she and I have a special bond. I would do anything for each one of my siblings, but with her being the only girl in the house full of boys, I’ve always kept a watchful eye over my sister. Two years ago, on her 18th birthday, I wrote the following letter to my sister as she made the transition from a girl to a woman. Basically, these are my words of wisdom to a young lady I love and cherish, and I decided to share the unedited letter with y’all today. Enjoy.
May 18, 2007
Hey, sis, how are you doing? Yesterday was a real big day—the big 18. How do you feel? Good. I just wanted you to know that I’m so proud of you and the woman you are becoming. I have to admit, I was always scared that you’d become a wild child, but I should have known better—you’re daddy’s brother’s little girl and I love you. Despite our difference in age, you and I seem to always have real conversations. That’s why it’s so strange that we haven’t had this talk before, but I feel like this is the time. You are a woman now after all.
Krissy, please watch these fast little boys trying to hit it and quit it. I’m not gonna get all up in your business, but whenever you decide you’re ready to make that step into womanhood (if you haven’t already…YIKES!) make sure it’s with someone you’re in love with and you truly believe feels the same. The reality is what you feel emotionally may not always be what he does. Remember, guys tend to say a lot of things they don’t mean just to get what they want. It’s your life and any decisions you make are ultimately yours, all I ask is that you make the moment special to you and protect yourself. Whatever you do, be confident in the knowledge that I will always be here for you and will never judge you.
Now, I know you’re heading off to college in a few months and it’ll be scary, but no matter how busy you think I am I always have time for you and your brothers. No matter if I’m swamped with work I’ll always find a moment for my blood. And if there’s ever anything you feel you can’t speak to mom or your friends about, know that you can always come to me in confidence. All I can and ever will do is give you a helping hand at every opportunity and provide you with the best advice possible. If you make a mistake just learn from them. Mistakes aren’t something we should be afraid of, they’re part of life and trust, your big bro has made his fair share of them. More than likely, I have a few more to make before it’s all said and done, so my wisdom is at your disposal any time. That’s what big brothers are for.
Once again, I just want you to know that I’m so very proud of you. I hope you enjoyed your gift, your day and dinner with mom and me. Sorry we met up too late to go to where you wanted, but remember we have a dinner date in a few weeks in the city. I’ll take you somewhere nice and give you more tips on how to conduct yourself when you’re out with a gentleman. Don’t let me find out any of these little boys are pulling the okey doke on my sister. BBQ’s is not a fine eating establishment. Yeah, I know it is when you’re 18, but I’ma show you how a real man is supposed to treat you. I expect nothing but the best for you, because you are the best. Happy birthday, sis.
Your big(gest) brother, Anslem
If you have younger siblings, what words of advice have you given them over the years? Does the guidance you provide differ between little brothers and little sisters? If you were an only child, how did you learn the facts of life? Did you get information from your friends? Looking back, how accurate was their advice? Did anything you picked up on the street turn out to be an embarrassing wives’ tale? Who told you about the birds and the bees? How awkward was that conversation for you? How do you plan to tell your kids about the birds and the bees and at what age?
Speak your piece…