Sister to Sister
Delta Winds: A Magazine of Student Essays
A Publication of San Joaquin Delta College
Sister to Sister
Dear Sister, first let me start by saying that even though we are only twelve years apart, the generational differences between us seem enormous. Some of the things you tell me scare me more than you will ever know. This is mostly because I didn't have to deal with those things until I was much, much older. You are thirteen years old for crying out loud, and you shouldn't even know what some of those things are, let alone hear rumors that your best friends are doing them. All of this aside, please hear me and more importantly understand me when I say the following:
Dear Sister, you are beautiful. I know you are told this all the time by me, by mom, and even by complete strangers. It's important to know that you are beautiful in many different ways and you always will be. On the inside (which is most important), you are truly a kind, loving, and generous person. I am really reminded of this when I see you with our grandmother. The way you interact and take care of her makes me so proud of you. Then, there is your outer beauty from your gorgeous mixed black and white skin to your full volume of hair (which you know I have always been jealous of). Recently and out of nowhere, you have blossomed into a young woman and now have womanly curves. Celebrate your new body by respecting it. Believe it or not, there are clothes that are cute and not revealing. Also, always remember that any guy you attract solely because of what you are wearing is not worth keeping. Oh! I can't forget. Please eat lunch. I get it; I remember being a teenager and feeling really self-conscious about people judging me based on what I was eating at school. But this doesn't mean you should starve yourself until dinner. Eat lunch so your body can stay just as beautiful and healthy as it is now. Respect your body by clothing and feeding it appropriately.
Dear Sister, you are smart. I know we constantly joke that our mom ended up with the best of both worlds. First, there's me, the goody-two-shoes, smart, people-pleaser daughter, and then there's you-the beautiful, popular, outgoing daughter. It's important to remember this is only a joke. We both have a mixture of all of these qualities. Sometimes I fear that our little joke has planted a seed of doubt within you. It is important to know you are very smart. When you apply yourself, there isn't anything you can't accomplish. I see this all the time when I help you with your math homework. At first you feel like you don't and can't understand a concept, but once it is fully explained there's no stopping you. This is why you need to remember to not stop at mediocre. Always strive for greatness. You are fully capable and definitely smart enough to tackle anything; you just have to have the confidence to do so.
Dear Sister, you are strong. As you know, people can and will be cruel. As long as you remain strong and remember that only the truth matters, name-calling and rumors won't get you down. I wish I could say that as you get older the people around you get nicer, but unfortunately that tends to not be the case. However, as long as you keep your head held high like you have done so many times before and know that other people's harsh words have no meaning if you don't give them any, you will be fine. You are one of the strongest people I have ever met, much stronger than I was at your age, and you will continue to develop that strength as you get older and wiser.
Dear Sister, I hope you have heard and understand all that I have mentioned. I do, however, have one last piece of advice before you completely tune me out, and this is the most important thing I could ever tell you: Madison, I could not be prouder to be your sister.