Truly. I suck so so so so bad.
Mandy's birthday was ELEVEN DAYS AGO!!
Last night Soph was having nightmares and climbed in bed with me (again) at about 4:00 a.m. She sleepily told me that she wanted to see Cinderella Three. I sleepily told her that we were going to go see the ballet of Cinderella in a few weeks. This made me think that I'd better write the date of the ballet on the calendar, which made me think that I'd better GET a new calendar, which made me wonder if I'd missed any important events in January by NOT having a calendar which caused me to sit bolt up right in bed because I realized that, yes, I HAD missed an important event--MANDY'S BIRTHDAY!
No one even reminded me. I mean, there was that ONE day (probably the 17th) when my mom and dad and Katy all asked me if I had talked to Mandy. At the time, I thought it was kind of an odd coincidence that they all asked me that on the same day.
So, here are 11 things that make me SO GRATEFUL for my big sister. One for each day that I have TOTALLY FORGOT HER BIRTHDAY AND AM A HUGE ASS HOLE.
1. She introduced me to ALL of my favorite authors. I may be the English teacher, but she is the true reader. Starting with Sweet Valley High, (Which, on a side note, taught me how to read. I wasn't a great reader in the early elementary grades because I HATED the crap they gave me to read and would look at he pictures and make up my own MUCH more interesting stories. I picked up a SVH book and my mom told me I couldn't read it because it was both too hard and too racy for me--so, of course, I did, asking her "What is this word" about a million times.) and moving on to Beverly Cleary, Judy Blume, Robin McKinley, Anne McCaffrey, Robert Heinlein, Tamora Pierce, and seventeen or eighteen more that I have ALSO forgotten.
2. Because of her, I didn't have to tell my mom right off when I started my first period, which, for some reason, I really didn't want to do. We were living in Carmel Valley, and I remember seeing the rust colored spot on my panties and thinking, "I better tell Mand about this." She totally hooked me up with a pad and some Midol. Then that night she poked her head in my room after I had gone to bed to check on me, and advise me against sleeping on my back, if I wanted to avoid nasty sheet washing in the morning.
3. More girly stuff--but I had the HARDEST time nursing Soph. Luckily she was nursing Zack at the same time, and we would bust out boobs and babies and she'd show me how it was done. She also showed me how to manually express the milk when my boobs were about ready to explode.
4. She also introduced me to yoga. She, of course, has been ROCKING the yoga lately, while I have been rocking the cheese. I AM going to a class today, though.
5. When I need someone to talk me down, she always has the grounded advice that I need.
6. Madeline's hand-me-downs have kept Soph clothed for, like, her entire life.
7. Mandy's courage in following her own path has given me the courage to follow my own more than once. In school, religion, family life, motherhood, and a number of other things, she has followed her intuition and listened to her own voice. I'm super shitty at doing that. Often when I'm doing something for ME, I hear her voice in my head telling me it's ok.
8. She taught me how to make roasted veggie and goat cheese sandwiches on foccacia. Yum.
9. I also have benefited from Mand's love of music. Growing up, she always had a music collection (composed of a surprising number of cassette singles) and I always had a music collection to borrow from. More recently, she has introduced me to Nina Simone, KT Tunstall, and Mindy Smith.
10. Need I say that I've had a BFF since I was born because of her?
11. She loves me. No matter what. NO MATTER WHAT. I rest in that. Often.
So big sis, I'm so, so sorry to be a birthday forgetting tool. Keep your eye on your mail box when you return from Seattle. I love you. No matter what.