I was trying so hard to get used to the idea of my little brother getting older. For the past three months I was going around in a stupor, repeating to myself “Bub’s going to be twelve soon. Bub’s going to be twelve soon.” I convinced myself of it. Then I got home and discovered he was only going to be eleven and I picked him up in a huge hug and yelled “Thank god! You’re too little to be big!”
My sister turned sixteen last week. Yup. She’s growing up without me on the other side of the world. But I’m still her big sister, so today I’m going to give her some sisterly advice. Here are 16 tips for my sixteen-year-old sister.
On my mom’s side, I have 20 aunts and uncles and 25 cousins, three of which have spouses and one who has a toddler and a baby due any day now. Including my siblings and I, my maternal grandparents have 28 grandchildren and nearly 2 great-grandchildren. I am the youngest of the older half of the grandchildren, and for six years before 2011, I was smack dab in the middle.
On Christmas there’s a big party at my grandparents’ house. After dinner, presents—usually between close cousins, or godparents and godchildren—are given out. Then the older half, plus the oldest of the younger half, of the cousins do our secret santa exchange and get to discover who had our name and so on. After we’re done, the adults (I guess, at twenty, I’m technically an adult, but here “adult” means family members out of university who have jobs and own homes and stuff) play their gift-giving game where they draw numbers and the whole thing is kind of complicated.
After the adults have finished their game, the dining table is cleared and the poker game begins.