On August 28th, 1978 I was no longer the baby in the family. I was promoted (or demoted depending on how you think about it) to big sister of a whopping 10 pound baby girl named Kim.
I didn’t mind the demotion. There may not have been enough room for me to rest on daddy’s chest, but I used this time to practice for when it was my turn.
Due to her big bald head, round belly and curvaceous thighs our dad gave Kimmy the nickname, ‘Odd Job’. Odd Job was a character in the James Bond film, Goldfinger.
When she wasn’t hobbling around, she was bobbing under water.
Kim learned to swim when she was one years old without any flotation devices. She’d bob up and down in the water pushing along her favorite swimming companion, a naked plastic doll.
Kimmy was great at most things. I mean, of course she was, she learned from me. I tried to mentor her the best I could. I taught her so many valuable lessons in life, like how to cheer and pretend she knew the Pledge of Allegiance.
There wasn’t one person who didn’t love Kimmy, and there wasn’t one spotlight Kimmy didn’t love. In the summer while our family skied at the State Park in Lake Chelan, Kimmy was adamant she didn’t want to ski. That is, until my mom told her everyone was watching. Kimmy said, “Fine! Dad, just take me for a short little loop.” Our dad set her up in the skis, pulled her out of the water and fought all the boats to make just a short little loop. Kimmy used this opportunity to hang onto the rope and wave to all of her fans. She was unwilling to let go until she was sure certain everyone had seen the cute little girl on skis.
Kimmy was a pretty awesome little girl, but as much as I loved her, she wasn’t perfect. She obviously had a few less than charming moments.
Truthfully, we dressed up this way for Halloween. She was Cindy Lauper and I was a punk rocker, but we did look a little tawdry. When we were little and had been caught playing in our mom’s makeup, our dad would facetiously exclaim “Ohhhh honey. You look JUST like a hooker.” We wore that compliment proudly.
In time, unfortunately for me, Kim realized she did not need to live life under my dictatorship. This was a tough, tough adjustment for me. I’m guessing this is why I burned her shoulder with a hot curling iron and why I hid nasty stuff inside her Oreos. But, come on, I was furious she wouldn’t pick up the leaves with her bare hands after I nicely raked them into piles. She will tell you I purposely raked dog poop into those same piles, but I admit to no such thing. [cough]
He was right though. When it was her birthday I took money out of my piggy bank and bought her a stuffed Spuds MacKenzie dog at the local garage sale. When she was being harassed and bullied by some guys during high school, I shredded them to pieces. When she left for college, I sat on her bed and cried.
While she was away at college, it was the first time in 18 years I was without her. As sad as I was, I believe this is when she grew as a person and learned the most valuable lessons in life. She learned how to beer bong AND find her way home afterwards. She bravely studied in Mexico for six months during college, something her big sister would have never had the courage to do. While in college she met the man of her dreams, a guy equally as wonderful as her. It didn’t take them long to decide they wanted to build a life together, and what a wonderful life they’ve built.
Who am I kidding? Kimmy can take care of herself. She is so fiercely determined that men whimper in shame. She's one of the toughest mo-fo’s I know. A few years ago while competing in an Ironman, Kimmy earned her new nickname: THE DIESEL. Fit, ripped men were falling to pieces during the race, but THE DIESEL picked them off, one by one. Slow, steady, determined and freakishly strong.
Even if Kimmy came second (after me) and stole the show, I am her biggest fan. Words cannot express how much respect and love I have for my little sister. She has the determination and spirit of our mom. She has the rational and patient heart of our dad. She has both of my parents' sense of devotion and love.
She’s an amazing wife, mother, daughter, aunt, sister and most of all friend. The world is blessed to know and love her. And I’m so unbelievably grateful she forgave me for burning her with the hot curling iron.
But most of all, we are all lucky Mike and Diana got down and dirty one last time.
Happy Birthday to the the most amazing person in the whole wide world!!!