Another missing post last night, but for good reason—I was out celebrating. Yesterday was my cousin, Chica’s, eighteenth birthday. She didn’t want anything grandiose, just a quiet family dinner, but it was still a pretty special night.
A night on which I probably had a bit too much to drink, but this isn’t about me—it’s about Chica.
Every year on her birthday I remind Chica of the day she was born. After an eighteen hour (yes, really) labour, and an eventual caesarean, my uncle rushed from the delivery room and announced “you wouldn’t believe it—it’s a f**king beautiful baby girl!” (He’s always had a way with words). I’d been sitting for so long, on standing my numb feet gave way and I twisted my ankle, so every year I make a big show of hobbling up to her for a birthday hug, just as I did for my very first nurse.
I was eleven then, and was simply excited to have a new baby cousin who wasn’t a boy—finally someone who was more likely to paint my nails than ask me to pull their finger. I don’t think I ever could have imagined just how close we’d become.
When she was a baby my mother looked after her every day while my aunt worked. In fact, she spent so much time at our place she took to calling my aunt and my mother “mum” until she was four and figured out the difference. As she got older, every school holidays saw at least a week of visiting with us, until high school, when she moved in permanently instead of becoming a boarder.
From the moment she came home from hospital, Chica slowly became my little sister, rather than my cousin, and we do all the things sisters do together. She’s all the annoying things a little sister is—my mother spoilt her more than me (which used to make me jealous something shocking), she constantly steals my clothes/shoes/make-up (and usually looks better in them), and if there’s trouble she calls me to bail her out. But she’s also all the great things a sister is—the perfect person to watch a movie and eat junk with, great for giggling with about boys and other girly stuff, and an excellent fashion critic if I’m unsure of my outfit choice.
Because of our relationship I may be a bit biased, but I think Chica’s a pretty cool chick. She’s always been one of the most empathetic and caring people I know, and is certainly the agony aunt amongst her friends. She’s smart (although she has her ditzy moments), has a brilliant sense of humour, and work hard when she sets her mind to something.
She’s also gorgeous—and that’s not just me being biased, although maybe a little jealous. She’s got her dad’s olive skin and long legs, and the prettiest brown doe-eyes rimmed lashes that go on forever. Not to mention great…cleavage. Seriously, my one worry is that Chica is far too good looking for her sweet, trusting nature.
When she gets all dolled up I find myself amazed that my little cousin who used to romp around covered in dirt, and washing the cat in petrol (yep, she did that), is the same strong, clever young woman in front of me. I’m a little in awe of her, and quietly proud that I had at least some small hand in helping her become some fantastic.
Happy Birthday, Monkey. I hope eighteen is your year for adventures, fun, and all many of other wonderful things. Thanks for being my sister from another mister.