It was my youngest sister’s birthday yesterday, and shopping for her gift made me realise just how little I know about her. Now don’t get me wrong – this isn’t one of those relationships where we’ve never been close because we just don’t get along. There’s just always been a limit to how close we could be because of our age difference. I would ask her about her friends and school and she’d tell me about it – you know, who her best friend was, who was being bitchy, what her teacher was like etc. I never really told her anything about my life outside of home because I just always thought it’d be inappropriate.
It used to be so easy getting gifts for her though. I knew that she’d like anything with a Disney princess on it, particularly Cinderella, who was her favourite. Then, as I noticed she’d outgrown Disney princesses and moved on to different fads her friends were in to, like Polly Pockets, Bratz Dolls or Littlest Pet Shop, that’s what I got her (Google that shit if you don’t know what it is).
But then a whole bunch of stuff happened, and I became more distant from my family. I pretty much moved out at the end of last year and even though I do visit home, I don’t really talk to my youngest sister at all because she kind of just hides in her room most of the time. The last thing I remember her liking was One Direction.
But she seemed to transform from a sweet, innocent, child in to an angst teenager, overnight. As I walked in to her room one day, I’d noticed all her One Direction posters were gone. I asked her why she’d taken them down and she replied, “I don’t know, I don’t really like them anymore”, And when I asked why, she said, “because they’re stupid”. Even though those words were a relief to me, I was still shocked by the sudden 180. As the weeks passed by, her wall became increasingly covered with posters of Korean pop stars. I noticed her watching Kpop on SBS during certain weekends I was home.
So she likes Kpop now…
So anyway, that all led me to the dilemma yesterday. I had absolutely no idea what she’d like. I had to trawl through her Facebook photos to try and gauge what she might like.
To be honest, because we’d grown a bit distant, I was going to just settle on getting her a cake (terrible sister I know, but fear not, I did end up getting her a few gifts). But then several memories popped in to my head that touched the little fibres in my heart. I remember on this one birthday, she’d left a hand made card and a cellophane wrapped gift on my desk before I got home to surprise me. She was young, and didn’t have any money, but she still went to the effort to get me something. And this other time, during Christmas, she made me take her to a book store and asked me to pick something so she could buy it for me because she knew I liked to read.
I guess the main reason it was so hard to get a gift for her today is because I still see her as that little girl. It’s so hard for me to let go of that image of her. Most of me doesn’t want to acknowledge that she’s growing up fast. And now I know how parents feel when their kids are becoming independent young adults.
It seems like just yesterday I was watching her in her cot, making sure she didn’t crawl out. Because the cheeky devil liked to hold the rails and bounce up and down like she was ready to jump out. And it feels like just yesterday her, my other sister, and I found giant black plastic bags and decided to use them in a jumping bag race. And it feels like just yesterday she needed my help guiding her way through life.
I honestly wish my sisters and I were like the Brady Bunch. You know, braiding each other’s hair and DnMing and stuff. But that just isn’t the way our family is. We’ve always been distant, especially with my dad being overseas most of the time.
But I guess I’ve got an extra item for my bucket list then. Become closer with my sisters before I’m 30. Because nothing can adequately describe how much I love them and I don’t want to live the rest of my life never talking to them, or barely being in contact with them, like my parents and their siblings.