Growing up Stephanie and I had, at times, a somewhat adversarial relationship. We are four years apart, with a brother in between, and have vastly different ways of going about life. At certain points if you would have asked me what we had in common I might have said, "We were both born in February - but different astrological signs."
There is a home movie that gets pulled out at my house from time to time that shows the kids playing around. When the camera is on me I pull back, hang my head a little bit, say hi softly and wait for my dad to move the camera. It's not that I didn't like the attention, it's just that I didn't know what to do with it. I felt stupid. Stephanie, on the other hand, knew what to do. Be a complete and total goof-off. She makes faces at the camera. She giggles and stickes out her tongue. She is a spaz. Time and experience has tempered both of us. I'm not quite the shrinking violet the movie shows, nor is Stephanie someone who goes around with or looking for a spotlight on her.
Along the way our interactions lessened with our divergent interests, excepting the almost daily battle that took place each morning when she would come in to ask to borrow some article of clothing. We had some good wrestling matches over sweaters and such. Eventually we outgrew the fighting and went on our separate ways, occassionally meeting for a Christmas Day trip to the movie theatre or something.
And then we grew up. She went to college, I went on a mission, we wrote letters back and forth, talked about guys, shared stories and advice. And we learned that despite our different personalities that we were friends, and pretty good friends at that. She got married a few years ago and just had her first baby in November. There is nothing like the bonds of motherhood to help cement a relationship. The ground we stand on is a little more common these days.
Stephanie is smart and athletic. She knows how to get things done. She has started a design business and makes her own greeting cards. From all accounts, she is a fabulous mom. And today is her birthday. Happy Birthday, Steph. I hope this next year is a fabulous one.