As you get older, your stories change and the advice you need gets a bit deeper. Sometimes I disagree with your decisions, and sometimes you don’t make sense to me. I need you to know that I am never mad at you. After some conversations, you will ask me if I am mad at you. More times than not my answer is always no, but I can tell you think I am in fact upset. So today, I am going to tell you what is going through my head in those moments.
“I’m not mad, but this is happening too fast.”
I thought it would be YEARS before I had to have real conversations with you about boys, love, and sex. Those conversations came a lot faster than I expected. While I am so happy you feel comfortable enough to discuss these things with me, I need you to understand that to me you are still my little sister. The little sister I still need to protect from all three of those things I mentioned above. I also want you to know that I remember what it was like to be your age. We are only two and a half years apart, so let me rephrase that to say I remember what my mindset was like when I was in the moment of your life you are in right now. So when you tell me something that I may not agree with, and I give you a concerned look, I am not mad. I just can’t believe we are already here, having these very grown up discussions. I have to admit to myself that you are no longer my “little” sister, you are simply my sister, and you NEED me to talk to you about this stuff. I will always be there for you, but in those moments when you think I am mad, know that I am not. I am just taking a few brief moments to collect myself and think about how to respond.
“I’m not mad, I’ve just been in that situation and it does not end well.”
Believe it or not I have lived your life already. I have been the girl with the connections at the bars. I have been the girl with the great best friend who I did everything with. I have also been the girl who drank too much, made poor decisions and reaped the consequences greatly for them. So when you tell me a story that, to you, sounds hilarious and fun, and I give you a look of judgement, I am not judging you. I am having a brief stint of PTSD, and it is infuriating me that you didn’t learn from my mistakes. You know, now that I think about it I have never had to have that conversation with you. The beginning of your stories like that usually piss me off but they always end with you telling me exactly what I want to hear. That you told that creepy guy to “F%&$ off” and you left. That you told your friends, “This is not a good idea, so I am going to leave” without worrying what they thought of you. That you remembered you had to drive home. You reassure me that I don’t need to worry about you and that maybe you did learn from my mistakes. You are a person, an eccentric, beautiful person who is very smart. You are more than just my little sister that I need to watch over. You grew up and I need to accept that you no longer need me to help you make the right choices because you respect yourself enough to know to make them in the first place.
“I’m not mad, but what are you doing?!”
You are an adult, and I need to remember that. I need to remember that you are not the same kind of adult that I am in the sense that you do not live the same life that I do. When I give you a hard time about saving money, I am not mad and just lecturing you. I just want the best for you, I don’t want you to have to stress about your finances the way that I did because I was too busy spending my money on Starbucks and Bud Light. I want you to know that I am not trying to come off as this super, mega-adult when I tell you to be responsible with money. When I was your age I wasn’t responsible…like…at all. I paid for it and it was not fun. All I want for you is the fun part, no consequences. I always forget that you are smart, and in those moments when you aren’t you always learn from your mistakes. Maybe I can’t accept that you are smarter than I was at your age.
“I’m not mad, but like…why!?”
You and I could not be more different. We also could not be more the same. So when you come home with pink hair and I won’t shut up, saying things like “Why did you do that!?” and “I can’t believe you did that!” I need you to know that I am not just being a bitch. In fact, now that I think about it, my reasoning for giving you a hard time is very shallow. In my eyes, pastel colored hair is not a hair color that blends in with society, you will stand out. It is not your typical blonde or brown, and it is not the hair color that is taken seriously in a job interview. What I need to learn is that you WANT to stand out, you are NOT like everyone else and that’s okay with you! You know that your heart and mind goes further than what your hair color is.
What I am forgetting is that you are the same little girl who, when we were younger and playing pretend in the backyard, never wanted to play the role of “The Mom” in our domestic make believe games. You wanted to be the puppy. You wanted to be different. So while back then we thought it was funny and weird, now it all makes sense. You are proud to be unique and go against the grain. And that makes me proud of you. So you rock that purple hair. After-all, you are the puppy.
I am not mad. I am never mad. I just love you so much and I know what you deserve.
That one speaks for itself. I am so proud to be your sister. I love you puppy.