February 14, 2017
the jane to my lizzy
In honor of Valentine's Day falling on a Tuesday--the day I am (theoretically) supposed to write a new blog post--I planned to celebrate great loves. I'm talking Darcy and Lizzy, Rochester and Jane, Logan and Mary Anne (I'm so not over that--SPOILER ALERT--breakup).
But when it came to time do it, another love came to mind. One that is just as complicated and wonderful and beautiful as all the great romances. A real one. This week, I felt called to write about the love between sisters.
Growing up, our parents made every holiday fun. It's why I love them all. We grew up treating Valentine's Day as a day where we celebrated our love for each other as a family. So it only feels fitting to celebrate one of my great loves--my little sister.
I've written about my sister before (some of my favorite mentions are here, here, here, here, here, and here), but basically I struck gold/hit the jackpot/insert your favorite cliche about luck when it comes to sisters.
My sister is two years, ten months, and 26-ish (I'm too lazy to do the actual math) days younger than me. As such, I don't recall much of my life without her. I do have a few memories, and the strongest was in the weeks--maybe months--before her birth. I remember knowing they were going to have a baby, and even though they planned to be surprised, I just knew I was going to have a little sister. Maybe I wished it into reality, but a few weeks before I turned three, my little sister was born.
That's another early memory. One that's only a flash I remember being at the hospital and standing at the nursery window and being as happy and excited as an almost three-year-old can be knowing that my little sister was there, nestled in a crib on the other side of the glass.
From then on, I don't really have any memories that don't include my sister. Not just because she's my sister--though that would be enough. She's my best friend. She's been my ride-or-die since before I knew--or had heard of--the whole ride-or-die concept.
She's the person who played school with me when I wanted to be the teacher and need a student. (She also gave me regular reality checks early on by deciding she was over the game when I assigned too much homework and became too bossy.)
She's always been my favorite companion for real and imaginary adventures. Like when we created the characters of Annie Anna Jones and Annie Anna Jones Jr--two archaeologists excavating our backyard in search of treasures before they could fall into the wrong hands.
She was my first roommate and also my first co-worker when we had to spend what felt like every Saturday cleaning our room, because we had way more books and clothes and toys than shelf or drawer space.
She's the first person I talk to when I have a new story idea. She helps talk me through plot problems--and also up off the floor when I'm having a dramatic meltdown and saying I have no business being a writer.
She's the person who knows me best. The person I would trust with my life. (And--hopefully this is never tested--I'd alibi her on anything, no questions asked.)
That's not to say every day is lemon drops and gum drops or braiding each other's hair while we talk about boys. We're sisters. We fight. There's no one who can rip my heart out more than her. (And, incidentally, there's no one who I regret hurting more than her.) There are a couple of stories from our childhood--where each of us plays the villain--that I could share to back that up. But its not Christmas or Easter, when those past sins are usually trotted out for the amusement of family, so you'll just have to take my word.
But we get through it. Like I said, we're ride-or-die.
She's the Jane to my Lizzy. So much so that I'd love nothing more than for us to find--and fall--for a couple of handsome BFFs, who we'll marry in a double New Year's Eve wedding before we settle in neighboring estates--err . . . houses. I would seriously love all of that. So much that I'm keeping this dream alive no matter how many times my sister rolls her eyes and sighs when I tell people about my plan. Sorry, not sorry, little sister. It's totally happening, and you can thank me for it later when it becomes our reality and it's completely awesome. (I'll try not to gloat.)
I love my sister--more than anything else in the world. She has a huge heart, a great sense of humor, and a true wish to make herself and our world better--even if we're both still figuring out how to do that. But here's the deal--the total truth. My world is better, because my sister is in it, and because I get to be in hers.
Happy Valentine's Day, little sister. I love you.
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Posted by Laura Chapman