I’ve got all my sisters and me

It occurs to me, as my roll through this old life starts to pick up steam, that my sisters are two of the greatest gifts my parents ever gave me.

A mutt-and-Jeff kind of twosome — one feisty and fearless, the other mellow and a little more cautious — Kathy and Jenny caboosed our family train. We called them the Little Girls and, for as long as my patient sister Kathy let her, my mother dressed them alike.

They shared a bedroom and even, for a time, a canopy bed.

Four years older than Kathy, and seven older than Jenny, I alternately coached, counseled and antagonized them during our formative years. I taught Jenny to ice skate on a pond across the street and she quickly eclipsed me and became a figure skating force. I put together all their Halloween costumes for them and I baked them cookies from time to time. By the time they got to high school both Kathy and Jenny were far cooler than I. I enjoyed cheering them on.

These days, my sisters are two of my best friends. We enjoy a good hang, whether in person or on the phone. I don’t think I’ve had a conversation with either one that has not included at least one good belly laugh. They are dedicated mothers and beloved aunts to my children.

When my kids were very young, my sister Kathy used to hop in the car with us for family road trips. She never complained about always having to share the backseat with them, even when one of them (whose name rhymes with barley) got car sick and threw up on her.

Today is Kathy’s birthday and I’d like to celebrate it with her by thanking both of them for being exactly who they are.

Here’s to the Little Girls, may we raise a glass together soon!

Also, happy birthday Kathy! I’m going to have a big slice of cake in your honor. (You won’t be surprised to know that I got you the exact same sweatshirt from Blue Moon Emporium that I got Jenny for her birthday this year. Twinsies!)

The earliest known photo of the Little Girls in action. I think Kathy is singing to Jenny here. So cute. Also the last known picture of Kathy singing.
My mother dressed them alike until Kathy left for college and was able to choose her own clothing. (Just kidding. I think Kathy finally put her foot down around the fifth grade or so.)
Our parents gave us a brother too, as this American Gothic-inspired photo proves. I think this is around 1981. Mike looks bored and I look frozen. At least the Little Girls are smiling.
Here we are at Lambeau (Kind of wish I had a hat for this shot too. Yikes!)
Here’s to sisters!
(I felt bad for cropping my brother Mike out of that previous picture.)

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