Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The many names...

...of Ashley...

Daughter...Sister...Friend...Aunt...Ash...Ryan (her middle name..which she hates for some reason)

No matter how she's referred to, she will always be my "little sister." Although sometimes she feels more like my own. I was 9 when she came into the world...and from the time I can remember I simply wanted to be a mom. She was my very own real life baby doll. I can remember getting off the school bus and rushing in to pull the rocking chair in front of the TV to give her a bottle while watching the Carol Burnett Show. I even changed her diapers and let her sleep with me...there was that time she threw up spaghetti in my waterbed though...pretty sure that was the end of that arrangement.

She swears that I was mean to her when I was a teen....I believe's just I truly don't remember...and it kills me to think I ever was...but, nonetheless, I'm sure I was a jerk. I do remember once not wanting to have to drop her off at Kindergarten when I was driving to High School...I'm sure I thought that was way uncool...and she cried as she was made to get on the bus...and I cry now envisioning it...Sorry Ash. Really.

Then she became the teenager and would drive me nuts when I would come home for visits...we had numerous fights over her room being messy and her refusing to take her laundry up to her room off the stairs when I'd ask... I can remember one really bad fight we had outside on the porch once...although I can't remember exactly what it was about...something to do with going to Chuck E. Cheese and her leaning her seat back too far when she drove. Once we even fought so bad that we both ended up crying. Funny how those things don't matter I can't even remember why I was ugly to her. And how once again I feel bad just thinking about it.

All I know is that now she is 25 and I am 33 and although the digits in our ages will never get any closer...the gap is closing relationally. She has grown into a beautiful, intelligent, thoughtful, giving, woman ...full of stubbornness beyond comprehension contagious laughter. And I don't tell her nearly enough how proud I am of her.

This Christmas she and her boyfriend, along with my mom and her fiancee', spent Christmas here at our house. We ate way too much food...enjoyed making fun of each other way too much...played Guesstures way too late...and had way too much fun. It really was a wonderful time. I look forward to the Christmas' ahead we will spend with our families.

I was extremely touched by the gifts Ashley gave us this year and wanted to share. Maybe even inspire.

She gave each of her nephews (Tyler and Aidan) and her niece (Mag) a new pair of Toms Shoes. If you are not familiar with this company click the link...for every pair of shoes you buy...a child somewhere in need gets a pair too! They were a hit with the kids...and it's a good feeling knowing someone else is benefiting as well.

And for Adam and I she handed us a card that read "A donation has been made in your honor this Christmas to St. Jude's Children's Hospital" Even the card was made with recycled paper!
Those were the kind of gifts that keep giving and I was so proud to call her my sister in that moment.

Still am. :-)

"And whatever I do, may it always bring glory to you"

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