Happy Birthday Shelley!

Twenty-three years ago today, I saw the Easter Bunny. I woke up, went to the kitchen, and the Easter Bunny helped me back to bed, but snuck me in 2 oreos as a treat. I realized later to much disappointment that it was actually our neighbor, Glenda, who'd come to watch Eric and Me while Mom was at the hospital having a baby. Shelley.

A day or so later they brought Shelley home in a yellow dress on a sunny Spring day. I sat in the living room, draping my three year old body over the back of the couch trying to get a look at her while Dad carried the car seat inside. I was eating a plum and my fingers were sticky with juice, and I remember thinking, "This is going to change everything."

I have never thought truer words.

Shelley did change everything. Suddenly, it wasn't just Eric and Me. We weren't the "Mom and Dad, Boy and Girl" family that I was so fond of (Eric can back me up on this). It would take years for Eric and I to realize that the addition of Shelley shifted the balance of family power in our favor. Three kids vs. two parents: we would win in any democratic election, except those taking place in Florida.

Shelley added everything to our family. Everything that none of us knew was missing at the time, but now can't imagine being without. Shelley makes everything instantly funny. Shelley can make anything cool. And Shelley can make scrambled eggs better than Martha.

When Shelley came home, I had no idea what it meant to be a big sister. I didn't know that being a big sister meant you had an instant accomplice. Almost every bit of mischief I've ever been in was not only with my little sister, but because, planned, or decided by my little sister.

Shelley decided we should go 50 around a corner and see if the civic could go on 2 wheels. Shelley bought the sun-in that resulted in our having orange hair for all of 1999. Shelley started the wax fight that cost us both our arm hair in high school.

I may be older in age, but I was always along for the ride through Shelley's life as her totally unhip big sister and her: the coolest kid on the block. Shelley oozes cool. Shelley was meant to be 23 from Day 1.

Shelley asked Santa for Reba McIntyre boots when she was 4. She insisted on having a home perm when she was 8. She wore fake nails in 5th grade. And the hair dying began so long ago I can't even remember, but I think it was right around the time that she tried to shave her legs without Mom's permission and came out of the shower bleeding like a gutted fish. "The razor fell off the soap dish." Sure it did.

And now Shelley is a Mom, Shelley is a wife, Shelley will be a college graduate in May. Twenty three years ago, I was right: Everything would be different because of Shelley. Everything would be perfect because we have Shelley.

Happy Birthday, Toonis!

Love, Midge

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