Dear Little Sister,
You’re 18 now, no longer a baby. That’s weird, it makes me feel old, and I don’t like it.
I woke up this morning thinking about you and how you’ve grown up when I wasn’t looking. You’ll be a woman soon, and though you don’t see it, in many ways you already are one. We’re very different, you and I.
But there are some things I’ve learned, from surviving my young adult years that I want to share with you. So, in the spirit of unsolicited sisterly advice, here’s what I want you to know as you head into the metamorphosis stage of growing up.
On Your Beauty:
Society is ugly. According to them you will never be thin enough, toned enough, pretty enough, or perfect enough. The truth? YOU ARE ENOUGH. Right now, exactly as you are. Your beautiful curves, your freckles; these things make you YOU, and YOU will always be enough.
You already win at life. You are a stunning, elegant beauty naturally. Be adventurous and wild and wear what you love, but always be you.
So much of this time in your life is self-discovery and learning through trial and error. This is your journey and no one can tell you how to navigate it, but I hope that what I’m about to say will merit a tiny space in your rapidly increasing knowledge base and that you will think back on it from time to time and it will help you choose better than others before you. Boys can make you feel the best you’ve ever felt, and the worst. They can make you laugh until your abs hurt, and they can make you cry so hard you feel as though you’ll never get over it. I promise you that in your life you will experience a little of both (if you ever need me to share tears of any kind, or make a guy disappear, I’m here). The most important thing is that you nurture your sense of humor and your mind.
Don’t be afraid to be smart. Be friends with boys who are nice to you. Surround yourself with boys who are respectful to their moms, and not too mean to their sisters. And if they recognize you for your wit and your laugh more than just your stunning physical attributes, you’re laying the groundwork for some good stuff later on.
On how I’ll always love you:
Many people will have opinions and advice, but they didn’t change your diaper or feed you—nor did they suffer through your biting stage—so you don’t owe them the time of day. I know I moved away when you were still young, and I haven’t always been the best at keeping in touch and actively connected, but you are my little sister, and I love you fiercely. I am proud of the young woman you are becoming.
Mom & Dad:
Yes, I know it can get frustrating trying to be a teenager and follow rules at the same time. But trust me when I say Mom and Dad love you so much and they want so much more for you in life. They don’t like to see you cry or upset, they don’t like getting on to you over silly things you know you should’ve done. And if anybody in the world knows how it feels it’s me. Listen to them, love them, be thankful we have parents who care and love us. Some kids don’t.
You are one of the brightest young adults I’ve seen in a while and your future is so open, you can do whatever you want to and succeed at whatever you choose.
I want us to get back to where we were taking silly photos or whispering about things so mom and dad didn’t hear us, having each other’s backs no matter what.
I love you so much and I never said it enough, but I want you to know this: No matter how badly you mess up or how badly you get hurt I will always be here for you. That’s my job as a big sister.