Sista sista (I totally knew how much I missed ya)

My sister was here over the long weekend, which means I had some of my happiest days of the year. For those of you who grew up with Katie and me, your memories of our relationship probably include me running from her, fighting with her or making up nicknames for her (one documented example: “Katie the Shrimp”).

But oh, how times have changed.

My sister- married to Mike for two years, mom to an amazing baby boy, Finn, who is all twinkly eyes and smile – is my best, best friend. Sure, we can still fight. She knows my weakest of weak spots and goes after them on occasion. But in general, I can’t get enough of her. When technology allows, we will probably get chips implanted in our brains that allow us to have running conversations about every mundane detail of our days.

Some highlights of her visit:

1) We sit in my bedroom and watch Fashion Police while she pumps (w
ith my old pump – glad it’s not me this time!) and compare notes on slimming support undergarments.

2) We take each other’s babies interchangeably. (Hers is still a cuddly bundle, mine is at a squirmy age and weighs almost twice as much. So I’m on the winning end of this deal.)

3) I get to hear part of her labor story that I never heard before: pooping on the delivery table. “I told them ‘I’m sorry, I wouldn’t have had chili last night if I knew I was going to go into labor!'” I guess there is an upside to my C-sections.

4) She gently points out that I’ve been swearing more since I began staying home. “Especially the F word.” My sister has the mouth of a longshoreman, so I take this comment seriously. But after a couple days with my kids, I think she understands. 

5) I hear her tell my dad a “good parenting” story about me. 

6) She cuts my hair. In a style that she knows will allow me to go to bed with it still wet, do nothing with it in the morning, and wear it constantly tucked behind my ears. She understands that I will never use the flat iron she insisted I buy. And the day after she cuts it, she runs her hair through it, pulls it around in that “are these pieces even?” hairstylist way, and then trims it up some more to get it just right.

7) At least five times during her visit we have those gut-clutching, leaning-on-something-for-support, gasping-for-air laughs. Mostly at my expense, but sometimes at both of ours, like when Pat made up dating site profiles for us based on our random (I would like to say “adorably quirky,” but we’re not even a poor man’s Zoe Deschanel) pet peeves (Katie: runny scrambled eggs and green gum; me: short forks and bunchy sheets; both: the sound of ice makers.)

8) Our last meal before I took Katie, Mike and Finn to the airport takes much longer than planned. We are running late. Very late. (There goes my advice to not rush.) But Katie understands that we can not leave the restaurant until I have a to-go piece of chocolate chess pie in my hand. And when, a couple minutes into the already frantic car ride to the airport, she realizes that she’s forgotten her pumped milk at my house, I understand that the only choice is to make a wild U-turn to retrieve it. 

9) We spend a good amount of her visit unearthing clues to a major family mystery. It was like Nancy Drew, if Nancy found her clues via Google while drinking wine, eating pretzels and watching 48 Hours. Katie can be Nancy, and I’ll be Bess. Poor “slightly plump” Bess, who had less dates than even her cousin George, who today surely would be Nancy’s out-and-proud lesbian pal. 

Anyway, as bumbling as we can be, our sleuthing turned out to be very rewarding. I’m not at liberty to get into details about it now, but I can say that we have answers – and some exciting first steps – in a matter we’ve wondered about pretty much our entire lives.

Katie, come back soon? Eating dessert just isn’t the same without you.