When my younger sister was very little we called her the "Dancing Queen" and to me she will always hold that title…
One of my closest friends is my little sister. She can be the most amazingly supportive person in the world — right when I need her the most. In the past few years I think that through everything that has happened to both of us, we have become closer than I had thought was possible. We have both grown up a great deal and we have both come into "our own" as people.
The other day I was remembering something she used to do, as a baby, when I fed her. She would always do this "la-la-la" sing-song type thing with her tongue while she moved it back and forth in her mouth. It was absolutely adorable – a really amazing thing to be able to remember so vividly, especially considering this year she is turning 30. Actually, I recall quite a bit of what she did and what she was like as a child, possibly because she was so different from me, growing up. When I was young I was terminally shy. I preferred to hide in my mother’s arms or to cling to my father’s neck…even around family and friends. I was not talkative, unless I was really comfortable with the person or persons with whom I was speaking. My sister was different, she was a "performer" from a young age and she absolutely loved to be in the spotlight.
I remember one night at our cottage, lying on the bottom bunk in our bedroom, reading. She came bounding in, all gangly legs and long, blonde hair; giggling and smiling, carrying her teddy bear. She said, "Jenny – (only my family is permitted to call me Jenny) – watch me dance!!", and she started jumping around the room in front of me, flailing her arms around and kicking up her skinny legs from under her night gown. I lay there and watched, completely mesmerized by how free she was and how easily performing came to her. She was utterly beautiful; her blonde hair hanging pin-straight down past her shoulder blades, her brown eyes flashing with mischief and her cheeks glowing with happiness. And I, in my immaturity and insecurity of my early teenage years, was jealous…knowing that I could never be like that around anyone, ever. That I could never just laugh out loud, let go of my inhibitions and dance without caring what I looked like.
It’s strange to think about that night now, because when I look at her she is an adult; she is not in need of my care or my approval or watchful eye any longer. But, I look at her and she is sill that silly, giggling dancing girl. Only now I realize that I am indeed exactly like her – in all the ways I thought I could never be. I laugh out loud a lot. I dance without caring who sees or what they might venture to think. My eyes blaze and my cheeks glow pink with happiness. It just took me a lot longer to grow into these particular attributes.
I do thank her for showing me just how amazing it could be to feel this way, though. For that gift I am forever indebted to her. And for that reason I dedicate this gorgeous yellow pineapple tart to her today on International Women’s Day.