As penned by my sister, Jill ...
As I was looking through my baby pictures, I noticed that we are identical. You look so much like me when I was a baby and it made me really excited! (I'm on the left, E is on the right.)
Then, I started looking through more pictures. Oh no. I got to age 7 and, well, let's just say. I'm so sorry. If you take after me, you're going to have a really long awkward stage. It's going to last from ages 7-16. Again, I'm sorry. However, there are some things you can do that will make you look less awkward and I will help.
At age 7 I will not take you to a hairdresser who cuts hair out of her garage, next to a motorcycle, while wearing leather. She will give you a mullet, and well, I will make sure that it won't happen.
At age 8 please don't forget to remind me that it's picture day. I won't let you walk out of the house in a vintage Micky Mouse T-shirt, that you're great-great uncle wore a long time ago. I will also not pack kool-aid in your lunch box so it gives you that red mustache.
At age 10, I will make sure to help style your hair after you insisted on growing your bangs out. I will try to help you pick out a hairstyle that doesn't include huge dragonfly barrets. I will try to convince you not to put them on the sides of your head.
When you're 12, and want to be in a play about falling in love with a prince, and you have to wear a hideous costume, I know you're going to be excited because you got to be the princess, but I just want to let you know that when you look back at that picture, you're going to be really embarrassed. Don't worry, I won't show your future boyfriends.
When you're 14 and are just discovering make-up and how to do your hair creatively, I will smile and say that it looks nice because I know you're learning and trying really hard. And when you roll your eyes at me because I suggest a different way to put on your make-up, you'll roll your eyes at me. Just remember when you're older and looking at pictures of yourself, I told you so.
When you turn 17, I promise, things get better. You'll grow into your looks.
You'll learn how to wear make-up the right way, and you'll always wonder if your hair looks OK. But most importantly, E, you're going to know how beautiful you are. No matter if you wear a stained t-shirt on picture day, how you wear your hair or how hideous your first play costume is, I want you to know that you are beautiful inside and out even in the most awkward stages of your life.
I can't promise you that I will save you from every awkward moment you might have, but I can promise you one thing: I will never let someone give you a mullet.
While I'm on a writing hiatus this week, my sister Jill is sharing stories here in this space; hope you enjoy her as much as I do!