Big Lessons come in Small Pints


I spent this weekend at home with my little sister.

She turned 13 a couple weeks ago.

Which means she’s a teenager.

So naturally – she knows EVERYTHING.

To celebrate, I surprised her at home and spent the weekend shopping, getting our nails done and swimming.

I might have been playing big sis but she was schooling me the whole time.

Here are the top things I learned over this weekend.  From my 13 year old sister.  In no particular order.

1) Boys can be dismissed if they bore you with sports stats.

True story.

She said it calmly, with a classy hand wave, as if shoo-ing the imaginary boy in front of her away.

She’s 13 and already knows that boys’ evolutionary obsession with sports stats is bound to drive you nuts.  This notion appears to be a given.  What also appears to be a given, is that you can dump them for this reason.

Whereas my twenty-something counterparts are putting on jerseys and being the cool girlfriends, lil sis and her friends are rolling their eyes and deleting their numbers from their parent-provided cell phones.

Last week she was watching her new boyfriend play baseball.  Today he is nowhere in sight.

Me: How’s Nicholas?

Lil Sis: He was boring me with sports stats.

Me: Oh.

2) Boyfriends have 3 duties. Bring you flowers, kiss you on the cheek and carry your stuff.

Holy shit.  I’m doing it wrong.

Attention women everywhere: chivalry* is not dead.  There’s an entire generation of middle school boys begging their moms to buy them flowers so they can give them to their “girlfriends.”  In return, they’ll get to kiss them on the cheek and carry their stuff.

What a revelation!

So simple!

So Cavalier!

Moving forward, it will be made clear that flowers are important. Kissing on the cheek is admissible.  As is hauling my laundry upstairs.

It’s time to revert to real courtship… the middle school way.

3) Miley Cyrus sucks

Direct quote.

I already knew this but it felt good to have it confirmed.

After her fantastic show of low moral value on stage at the VMA’s, I was thinking two things.  Why do all my favorite Disney stars turn into train wrecks?  And I hope lil sis isn’t watching this/liking this/planning on debuting new moves at her next co-ed “party.”

Luckily she’s not.

But it did make me think for a hot second about all those furious moms and dads out there whose little girls have Hannah Montana taped up all over their room.  For a moment, I understood why they were pissed that precious Hannah turned out to be kind of a slut.

When lil sis told me about her feelings regarding Miley in the car, I was pretty impressed and relieved.

Mostly relieved.

I didn’t want her to be upset.

Like Little Me is. Regarding her favorite redhead from The Parent Trap (the remake).

4) It’s the small things

I told her she could pick one big item or a few small ones at the nice mall as her present.

We went into stores she’s never shopped in and tried on clothing that cost the equivalent of my monthly apartment rent.

I figured she would be thrilled.

And she was.

By the size and décor of the fitting rooms.

The first had “the biggest pillows” she’d ever seen and a bench she wanted to lay on.  The next one was “like a bedroom” where she wanted to “hang out all day.”

I was slightly bewildered but totally uplifted by this absurdly happy child, mesmerized by fitting rooms.

In the end, all she wanted (besides candy) was “cool yoga pants.”

Which I gladly bought her.

After she hung out in the fitting room for half an hour.

sister fitting room life

5) All it takes is a little “applesauce”

Teenagers are loud and hyper creatures.

I do remember being afflicted with this loud and hyper bug.

(there’s a chance I’m still suffering).

So you’d think living under the same roof for a few days with a child that resembles a bouncy ball would be easy.

It’s not.

But it does teach you a thing or two about happiness:

You can be happy whenever.

Her new thing with her friends is picking a “happy” word that they say constantly.

This month’s gem is “applesauce.”

She texts me this word, she calls to yell it over the phone, she uses it as code for things, she drives my dad up the wall singing about applesauce all day.

I wish I could explain it to you.  Except I don’t totally get it.

All I know is that she can be having a bad practice at gymnastics and feeling down one second and then just totally uninhibited running around screaming “applesauce” the next.

My dad says “she’s just  a happy child,” which makes me think about my 13-year old uninhibited hyper days and makes me want to run around being happy for no reason at all.


* Note: I looked up “Chivalry.”  Wikipedia says that Chivalry is the traditional code of conduct associated with the medieval institution of knighthood.  And I am totally down with this.

18 thoughts on “Big Lessons come in Small Pints

  1. Ah, to be young – when the boys will chase. Better let her know not to get used to that now. She leaves a guy because of sports stats in the grown-up world and it’ll be a lonely life – LOL… Ah, to be young again.

    Actually, check that – give her a few years of having the power, let her enjoy it. Funny post, thanks for the laugh… Oh CRAP!!! My daughter will be the same age as your little sister in THREE YEARS! CRAP.

    • HA! Thanks. What a way to describe her!! I’m definitely going to pass this comment on to the fam. They’re going to love it. (I haven’t told her yet she’s the star of this week’s blog entry and BOYS are mentioned). Usually that’s a no no. haha. Hope you’re having a good Tuesday :).

  2. My favorite part about middle school dating? There was ALWAYS a beginning and an end to them. One party had to ask the other up…and there was some form of break up. Us twenty somethings need to get on that!

  3. I think it’s so adorable and admirable that you took time to spend with your younger sister on her birthday. The lessons learned and shared between two sisters is timeless and oh so important. Ah… to be 13 takes me back, what a wonderful time in a young girls life when your girl friends rule supreme, boys are confusing (and not as mature as girls) and sisters, like girlfriends add so much to your life. You have a wonderful inner voice as a writer and it comes through in your blog. Look forward to reading more.

    • Brett – Thank you so much for this thoughtful and awesome comment and the encouragement to keep writing! I’m grateful everyday to have this great little sis – especially now that she’s growing up and becoming a sounding board for me. We’re starting to bicker a bit now that she claims I don’t understand the importance of these boy dilemmas…(do I ever!) but otherwise the lessons are pretty awesome. Thank you for reading!

  4. it’s ‘awesome’ that you hang with her and that you all seem to have a good relationship:) and yeah, why DO disney stars go wild? ugh, miley’s is off the charts and disheartening, kind of a delayed and exacerbated case of adolescence, she’s like 20 or so?

    • Ha! I know right. You want to say… Yes, Miley, we get it, you learned how to grind yesterday. CONGRATS. The rest of us took that journey a decade ago and now we’re done. Thanks for reading!

      Dani (my sister) and I are very close, especially now that she’s getting older.

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