There are a lot of people who I love, but there is one person who I love just slightly more than everyone else, and that is my little sister. Today is her birthday so I thought I would share a few stories about her.
-When she was little, like a lot of kids with Downs, she was very, very affectionate. She had a penchant for men, especially black men and she would often wiggle her cute little uninvited bum into their laps and snuggle. I remember one time she did this at Sports Authority, to the man trying to help her try on shoes. He laughed a lot, and was very sweet. If it was ok to hug everyone she ever came across without their permission, she would do it.
-When she was little, she was a complete bookworm. She had a massive stack of children’s books that she carried with her everywhere – to the bathroom, to the floor, to the table, to the couch. She would read by herself for hours.
-She has a few favorites in our family, but she especially loves our Uncle Bill. When she was little and learning the names of different parts of her body, she named her ankle, “Ankle Bill” through lots of giggles. Growing up, we got together with our relatives every month or so to celebrate birthdays. We’d all sit in a circle and watch the birthday havers open presents before cake and ice cream. While everyone was sitting talking, my sister would look around for her favorite uncle and then slowly walk backwards towards him until she scooted her little bum onto his lap to snuggle, prompting my hilarious cousins to rap the edited version chorus of Back that Thang up by Juvenile . Hahaha.
-She is clever. When she doesn’t want to go swimming after work, she subtly suggests that she do some “treadmill time” instead. When she knows she’s not allowed to have another cookie, she instead requests a “brown circle with black dots on it.” When she’s not allowed to have ice cream, she insists she have “cold stuff” instead. She makes puns about food. She’s witty. When she wants me to go away, she asks me to “take my legs upstairs.” I think she should go into politics.
-She is a hard-working, proud employee and loves to go to work. She also struggles with a few health issues and has to stay home more than she’d like, heartbroken to be away from her job and friends. On occasion she will try to fake healthy in order to trick our mom into letting her go to work. Watching her try to convince mom that she’s ‘100%’ healthy, while her nose is dripping and she’s sneezing and coughing is a very amusing conversation to witness.
-She loves to be evil, which is funny, because she couldn’t be evil even if she tried. She loves Mal from Descendants who is “ruthless and rotten and mean”, but she’s definitely not any of those things. She loves to terrify people. She is entirely obsessed with everything Halloween and spends time brainstorming costumes all year. Last I heard, she is hoping to be a pirate cheerleader this coming fall. She was an evil witch in MacBeth this past year and loved to dress up, cackle, and recite her evil spells over the cauldron.
-She is an excellent cook, creative writer, and Harry Potter connoisseur. She knows an impressive amount of trivia, and she loves to correct me when I don’t know something Harry Potter related (frequently).
-She loves history and has an incredible memory. She admires Martin Luther King.
-She loves holding and snuggling babies. She is very gentle with animals.
-She likes wedding season.
-She has a lot of loyal friends who she loves to have over for games. She is a happy hostess.
-She thinks it’s kind of funny when I’m not allowed to come to something because I don’t have Down Syndrome. “Um unfortunately, you can’t come, because you don’t have Down Syndrome,” she tells me. 😦
-She is a great swimmer and has been to Special Olympics a few times. She’s taken gold.
-When I don’t want to do something, she creates a cheer to encourage me. Like, “RA! RA! Rah rah rah! Gooooooooooooo, Grade Papers!” hahaha.
-She hates when I sing. Whenever I sing, she grabs either her head or her stomach and politely says something like, “Um, you’re giving me a bit of a stomach ache…Could you stop?” As soon as I stop, her sickness magically vanishes.
-I’m not sure if she will ever really understand contact sports. The idea of someone winning and someone losing is not something that she entirely grasps, and she could not possibly care less about it. She does, however, enjoy eating blue icies at sporting events.
-In basketball, when someone on the opposing team takes the ball from her, she wags her finger and tells them to give it back.
-She loves helping other people. She likes to knit hats for newborn babies and she loves helping the young women’s organization at church. This year for Christmas she suggested we visit a home for young children with special needs who couldn’t be with their families. She did a great job reading to them and cheering them up.
– If you’re having a bad day, she’ll do her best to cheer you up.
She is one of my best friends and one of the best people I know. She’s also hilarious.
Happy birthday little sister! I’m forever proud of you and so excited for what this next year will bring.