For a greater part of my life I slept about 18 inches away from my little sister. We had matching twin beds parallel to each other separated only by a small bedside table that we shared. We had one little lamp that we would fight over.
"I want it on," she would whine.
"I want it off," I would whine back.
We were also just a leg stretch and an arms reach away from each other. When she would annoy me, I could easily kick her or her bed and she could easily slap me over the head with her pillow without having to move nothing but her arm. She would get angry with me because I would leave clothes on the floor. I would get angry with her when I would wake up at 1 a.m. to find her laughing at a Simpsons episode.
"I have to get up and go to work. Shut the TV off," I would hiss.
"Shut up," she'd retort, "I'll lower it."
I shared a room with my sister as early as 1984 when she was sleeping in a crib, up until I finally made my last and final move "out" at 26, approximately 6 years ago. Growing up, I envied girls that had their own bedroom. I envied the space and the ability to decorate as they saw fit. I envied their ability to have friends over in their bedroom without their little sister saying, "hey, this is MY room TOO!" I envied girls that didn't have to leave the room to talk on the phone with boys.
So what does sharing a room with my little sister have to do with the holidays?
When Christmas morning would roll around, I would awaken to a pair of wide green eyes 2 inches from my face. A head smothered with blond ringlet curls would whisper:
"Wake up Sia, let's open presents!!"
When I was younger, I would get up and go downstairs with her. When I was a teenager, I would roll over and grumble and tell her to leave me alone.
What? I was a hormonal teenager!
As I grew into a young adult and moved out of the house, I would still spend the night at my mom's on Christmas Eve. The "wake up to open presents" changed to "wake up, have some coffee, and then open presents." For the last three years, I would purchase a matching pair of pajamas for us to wear on Christmas Eve. This was Christmas 2008:
Last year, I stayed in my own home Christmas Eve. I purchased matching pajamas, but I wasn't at my mom's house to wear them with my sister. To be honest, not waking up next to my little sister on Christmas morning absolutely breaks my heart. I suppose I need to grow up and accept the fact that I'm getting married and starting a new life with new traditions. Unfortunately, it just doesn't feel the same.....it doesn't feel like Christmas without her, and that makes me so very sad.
Looking back I feel so fortunate to have cohabited in such a small space with such a wonderful sister. I cherish the relationship we have and I realize how unique and special it is when others ask, "don't you two EVER fight?" Our answer is always a shoulder shrug followed with a "nah, not really." Don't get me wrong, we had our squabbles and our name calling and our "your so stupids," but it never really lasted beyond that moment. We always seemed to patch things up rather quickly with an all out raging dance party in our teeny tiny bedroom.
There is a song and a video that reminds me of the times I've spent with my sister back in the day in our little bedroom.....
I wish I could have those days back again.
Love you lil' sis :)