A Letter To My Almost Teenaged Little Sister On Her Birthday
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A Letter To My Almost Teenaged Little Sister On Her Birthday

You will always be my first baby sister.

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A Letter To My Almost Teenaged Little Sister On Her Birthday
Photo by Anna Hernández-Buces

Hi Valentina!

Look at you! 12 years old. You're practically an old lady.

But seriously, I'm so happy for you. You've had a whole year to get older and smarter and cooler. And you are so cool, sissy. Way cooler than I was at 12, and way funnier too. Not to get sappy on you (because I know it makes you cringe), but I can't tell you how many times I relied on your humor this past year.

2020 was a really weird time. The whole family cooped up at home, slowly driving each other crazy. But either you were crazy to begin with or you simply didn't let the year faze you. Honestly, I think you handled it with as much grace as a 12 year old can muster, and I'm proud of you for that.

One thing that quarantine was good for was all the time I got to spend with you. I got to watch you grow, and I got to realize that you are your own person now. That's a really weird thought for me, who still sometimes sees you as a chubby little baby whose hair stuck straight up into the air no matter what you did to it.

You're growing up, you have real interests, real likes and dislikes, a real personality (even though a lot of it revolves around TikTok and Roblox), and it's been so incredible to watch that unfold.

I don't know if I showed it enough this past year, but I'm incredibly lucky to have you. You didn't make me a big sister, but you were my first baby sister. You will always be my first baby sister.

For now, we've made it past the phase in our lives where all we do is fight and complain how annoying the other one is. That phase will come back soon, though, probably once you get to high school, so that'll be fun (not).

But for now! Right now we are in one of the best parts of our relationship: the part where the two of us actually like each other. For now, we don't mind when one of us barges into our room without knocking; we don't care if one of us ruins a TikTok video or whatever it is you do on your phone all day. We think we're cool, we get along, and we actually have things to talk about. At 12 and 21, there's a lot going on in our lives, and I'm so happy the both of us have someone we can confide it.

So really, you're doing great, Valentina. I'm proud of you, I'm so happy you're my sister, and I think you are the coolest. Honestly, you're my best friend. And I hope I'm yours.

Happy birthday,

"Banoona"

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