Originally uploaded by chelseasuttonToday my little sister turns twenty five, the first time I'm actually starting to feel less like a distance runner in this whole aging process. I think twenty five for me was in the midst of my first Master's, the M.Ed, and here I am, on the other side of three years of teaching high school and back in a Master's program again (is that
Of course, this isn't about me. This is about Chelsea, who lives way down in Austin, who is hosting a karaoke party to somehow ease the aging, whose boyfriend (pictured above) works part time at Kinko's and made her this insane sign, and it's about me having a dream about her last night (about her and my mother actually, where my mother took over directing the musicals when I left This High School and me sitting in on rehearsal to help give notes--seriously?--) and there my sister was, in the audience, joking along with me about the strange hamburger costumes and whatnot.
When I was three, all I wanted was a baby sister and a kitten. I got both, and I figured all my big wishes could come true.
We eventually gave away the kitten for biting the little sister on the face.
But Chelsea's stuck around. Despite the car accident she was in at fifteen, when she spent time in the ICU, one man dead and the other brain damaged for life, and she survived. Despite being robbed as she slept in Madison, her camera stolen from her bed stand beside her. Despite living in New York City, which I'm sure has tales alongside it, things we don't know to keep us from that worrying we tend to do.
Yup, I've got a little sister, though I don't know if twenty-five qualifies her as "little" any more. Younger, true. I'm facing thirty in a quick turn of time, so I shouldn't press the issue, but I think there's that time in our lives when we start to wonder what we should have done, start lining ourselves up with others and judging the paths we took. We start feeling a little lower, a little more like putting skid marks on this whole time moving thing.
And then, as I hope will happen with her, we start to realize that our lives are beautiful. That if we took any other path we wouldn't have become who we are or found the things we did--if Chelsea hadn't gone school-hopping, she would not have met Cole, who is seemingly a good match for her (unlike the boy she left behind in New York, who is still a good person, but sometimes good people don't always match). She is finding her passions in life, at her own pace, just as I am. And that's a good thing, because she's an awfully talented person and the getting there is part of the package.
Happy birthday, baby sister. Hope it's a good one.
PS: You can go wish her a happy birthday too: her blog and her flickr.