Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Happy Birthday Andie

Happy Birthday Andie, you have come a long way. Her birthday is Oct. 31st. Yes, she was born on Halloween and there have been many times she was quite spooky. And witchy.

The backstory - I am almost 19 years older than Andie, my youngest sister. I was in college when she was born and she frequently reminds me that I am old enough to be her mother. I wasn't really around a lot when she was growing up. She was 18 months old when I got married. But it was fun having a really little sister. Especially since I wasn't there every day.

You see, Andie was what we call a challenging child. And a challenging adolescent. And a challenging young adult. She is the reason that I do not judge a parent by the behavior of the child. My parents tried but she was beyond their ability. My mom was a super parent but she realized early on that Andie was going to do it her way and was willing to accept whatever the consequence was as a result of her behavior. Mom had to let Andie do it and just try to teach her, as best she could, not to do it again. Mom tried to let Andie know that she loved her very much but the behavior was unacceptable. So things were hard on Andie as she grew up. And she was hard on others. And I must admit, I wasn't always very nice to her.

When Andie moved to California, she seemed to fit right in and mellowed out a little. She is a "hippie" through and through. At one point she lived in an empty van on the beach and LOVED it. Then, about 5 years ago, she found herself pregnant. The result was Taj, her son, the coolest kid on the planet. And the other result was a new Andie. She had been moving toward personal growth but having Taj made her really focus. She stumbled a few times but she is a great mom. She is dedicated to Taj and keeps him a priority. And Andie has a great guy in her life now. Josh has been around a while as a friend but they decided a while back that they are soulmates. And Josh is amazing with Taj. They are a happy family. And she is a great person.

So Happy Birthday Andie. I am really proud of you and the grown up person you have become. I am proud that you are always you, just now a better version of you. I am proud that you are my littlest sister. I am proud that you are my friend. And I love you.