Sunday, July 11, 2010

Happy Birthday Jen!

I am the middle child.  Second of three daughters.  My older sister was an easy baby, easy going child, level headed and mellow adolescent and pretty much a go with flow (but gets shit done) adult.  She named me "Saucy baby" when I was days old because she decided that my name should be a secret from the family.  She asked my mom if I was really coming home from the hospital after I was born, and then asked if I could be returned.  She used my as a stool when I was an infant and decided that since I was second born, that I was the boy (I mean, that is just logic since she was already the girl and all families have a girl and a boy).  I was always the pupil when we played school and when we pretended to be panthers, she got the best "canopy in the tree" (under the dining room table) and mine was always just in the corner of the room.  We loved becoming characters from Disney movies when we were a little older, and of course, Jennifer picked our parts.  For the Little Mermaid, Jen was Ariel, Lauren was Flounder and I was.....the seagull. In Bambi, Jen was Bambi and I was Flower.  In Sleeping Beauty, she was Aurora AND Flora, Lauren was Flauna, and I was Merryweather (the little blue one).  In Cinderella, Jen was Cinderella, I don't remember who Lauren was, and I was Gus Gus (the fat, slightly dumb mouse).  You get the picture....she was the main character and I was there for comedic relief......I guess typical big sister stuff.

Like most second of the same gender siblings, I looked up to her.  I wanted to be just like Jen.  She played T-ball, I played T-ball.  Piano...check.  Band....check (although different instruments).  Volleyball.....check.  She got braces....well, I didn't need them but I sure as hell wanted them!  I remember when she had her first real boyfriends, I wanted a boyfriend named John so bad after that!  She worked at out Uncle's bread store...guess where my first job was!  One of my favorite bands is from her influence.  There is so much of who I have become that is due to her being my big sister.

When I was 13, the last day of school, Jen asked me if I wanted to go out with her and her friends that night.  Of course I ditched every plan I had had to go hang out with her.  She was 16, drove her own car, hung out at this wicked awesome coffee shop at UD, smoked cigarettes, which I thought was totally cool at the time, so really  I was in for the time of my life!  It had been a couple years since she had been willing to play with me and I was done playing with toys at that point anyway, so I knew I was getting her attention back.  Since that day, this is going to sound cheesy, she has been my closest friend.

We have had our ups and downs like any family or friend.  When she left for college it hit me hard.  There were a couple years where I was lost.  But it also gave me the space I needed to fully appriciate her as my sister and friend.  I can't imagine my life without her.

After Parker was born and we moved to Dayton, she worked it into her schedule to babysit while I commuted from Dayton to Cincinnati to finish school.  She spent hours of her time outside of that, helping me edit my papers and helped me brainstorm for upcoming assignments.  She gives me the opposite perspective on issues in my life, she always sees the things that I cannot.

So anyway, after gushing about her for as long as I have, today is her 31st Birthday.  I can't believe that we are so far into adulthood when it feels like just yesterday we were hanging out at The Grind meeting her future husband and his friends outside the my how time flies. 

Thank you Jen for being such a great role model, friend and sister!  Who else can say that there sister is also there sponsor for FA or CA!!!!  (Not many....I can tell you that)

And of course I am late posting this because technically it is now my Dad's birthday (sorry Jen)

Jen, Jack and me at her wedding
Aunt Jen with baby Macy
Silly faces at Phish

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