I was seven years old when my sister was born, meaning I was old enough to consciously reflect on the fact that a new human being had entered my life. I was almost ten when she first started talking and walking, and twelve when she was old enough to form coherent sentences.
I've always been something of a protective older brother. But that didn't stop me from teasing the hell out of her. Because in my family, that's what we do.
I remember when she was around four or five, and the whole family was in a rush to get to a dinner party or something. My mom told my sister to get dressed, and my sister threw a fit. She didn't want to wear her "purple pants". My mom was shouting at her (and laughing at the same time) to put on the damned pants, while my sister was bright red in the face, throwing the world's biggest temper tantrum.
Over purple pants. She didn't wear them that day, because in the end, my sister knows what she wants, and always has.
She got engaged last fall, and while it was weird to see my little sister engaged, everyone knew it was to a great guy. In fact, on a late october night, my brother and I took him out on the town to "welcome him to the family".
Naturally, we tortured him.
"Guys, I'll drink anything, except ouzo. I hate ouzo," he said to us. Prompting my brother and I to exchange conspiratorial glances. Within minutes, my future brother in law was gagging from a shot of Ouzo and running to the bathroom, while my brother and I fell out of our chairs, laughing.
After that, as far as we were concerned, he was part of the family.
Today, it's official. My sister and her fiance are getting married. As you read this, I am in Sooke, British Columbia, watching the two tie the knot. Part of me, I'm sure, will be thinking of purple pants, and Ouzo. But a bigger part of me will be thinking of the future, and all the good things I'm sure lie ahead.
Congrats, you two. Here's to the bright future that lies ahead.