Dear Jessica,

I can’t imagine a world where I’d be an only child. Don’t get me wrong, I love mom and dad, but their parenting habits could’ve been a little much if I didn’t have someone to share them with. Thank you for being that second person. As much as I dreamed of having a brother growing up, I’m glad I had you.

My thoughts of you weren’t always pleasant though. We used to fight a lot. I’m pretty sure half my childhood was made up our many petty arguments, and our stupid slap fights…. mostly due to the fact that you wouldn’t let me in your room, and in turn, that meant I wanted in more than anything. You used to be such a girly girl, while I took after dad with my fascination for sports and mud. It was so fun for me to scare you with a worm, or really anything from outside, and your freak outs were amusing to me. 

You’ve told me before that you didn’t like me when you first became a big sister, I guess I took up a lot of the attention that you were used to having for yourself. There’s this video that I love of you as a kid, one that I feel probably shows just how annoyed you were of me. You know the one. Dad had just got you up from a nap, your curly hair in tangles as you pouted over getting dressed. You spent the entire video calming yourself down, just to start up again, over something petty like not wanting to wear a specific shirt. Dad panned out the camera to focus on me at some point, “hi Melissa,” he greeted, to which I grinned and hopped around my high chair in excitement. I guess I was the happy child at that point. In any case, you started your tantrum once again when this image came into focus. 

A few years down the line, you’d moved on from the idea of, once again, being an only child. We would spend time together, mischievously breaking into mom’s makeup kits and plastering our faces with too much blush and lip stick. We’d bike around the neighborhood, the huge dumpster, our favorite spot. We’d walk to the park, and spend hours on the merry-go-round, smiles taking over our faces. We grew close, but we still had our fair share of arguments. 

I was in your wedding, so I was there for your cold feet episode a few hours before the wedding. You thought you looked too much like Shirley temple with the curls in your hair, and you had had enough of people being too close by. Long gone were the days of ‘saw-saw’ hunting and running around the old family farm, you were getting married and growing up, and you weren’t handling the pressure very well. 

Now that I look back on everything we went through together, I can honestly say I’m a better person because of you. You were the one that took me aside at 4, and prayed with me to become a Christian. You were the one who made sure everything went smoothly when my wedding day occurred. You were the one who was there with me for every bike crash, and scraped knee. I hope I was there for you whenever you needed me too.

I love you big sister,

Melissa

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