For the past three months my 18 year-old sister, Natalie, has been staying with us. She had a regular babysitting gig here and picked up side jobs to earn money for school (she starts BYU-Idaho in January). Although it's not quite like I had a personal maid and nanny, Nat has made the past three months easier. She put the girls to bed when I couldn't. I could run to the store and grab something without having to haul all three children with me. She would do the dishes and mop the floor for me when I asked. She could get the baby when he was crying so I could finish with whatever I was doing (probably finishing some post). As Ben takes her to the airport so that she can go home and sleep in a real bed in her own bedroom and not on a blowup mattress, here I am, feeling a little sad. And not just because I do have some dishes that could use some washing. So here is a small tribute, which will probably cause her to roll her eyes.
Some things about Natalie: smart, beautiful, funny, witty, wonderful with my kids, just a good all-around person. Sorry we never got those corndogs. Next time? And just for you, go Mets! (Also, you owe me some vanilla.)