Not many college juniors have seven-year-old siblings. Even fewer consider their kid sister their best friend.
None of them are like my baby sister and me.
Maddie was born in 2010 when I was in high school. I have two other little sisters, and when we found out the sex of the new baby, I cried because I wanted a little brother. I was a little dramatic.
Before Maddison Ann was born, I insisted her nickname be spelled M-A-D-D-I-E for two reasons: 1) so she'd have "ie" like me and 2) so she'd be cursed with rarely having her name spelled right on keychains or mugs. Sorry, Mads, you can blame me for that.
The instant I saw her, I was in love. I'd been a big sister most of my life, but I could not wait to be one all over again. I had so many things I wanted to teach her and show her and protect her from. What I didn't realize, though, was that I wouldn't be there to watch her grow up. In only a few, short years, I'd be leaving her and going off to school.
The day I left for college, I felt like I was leaving a part of me behind.
I was so scared of all I was going to miss. I wouldn't be there for her first day of school. I wouldn't be there for her when she learned how mean kids can be. I would not be around to make sure she knew each and every day just how much I loved her. I was her big sister, it was my job to take care of her and protect her and I was leaving her and I hated it.
Somehow, me being gone for the better part of the year drew us closer together. She called me to tell me about her days of school and her new friends. We streamed movies online together while video chatting. I introduced her to "Inuyasha," "Voltron" and "Sailor Moon," all of which we binge-watch anytime I am home.
Maddie is convinced she is Chibi-Usa and I am Usagi. I love this kid.
Her favorite part of me being home is going to her school to eat lunch with her and all her friends. They all think I'm her mom since I am so much older than all of them, but it's honestly pretty hilarious to see the confusion when I tell them I am her big sister.
Maddie quotes vines and memes. She has more sass in her little finger than most people I know have altogether. She says the craziest things and knows she's hilarious.
Maddie isn't like any seven-year-old I have ever met. She's one of my best friends. I never imagined being able to have so much in common with someone one-third of my age, but here we are.
Baby girl, I hope you know how much I love you and miss you when I am gone. I will always be there for you, no matter what.
Love you lots, Pipsqueak,