Today is my baby sister's birthday; her 26th to be exact. Hard to believe that little blonde-haired, blue eyed heartbreaker is now a skilled ER night nurse with the heart of an adventurer. I could spend all day praising her many talents, show you a map of all the places she traveled, speak of her love for all things Portland, or tell you how many half-marathons she's completed. But, today, I'm here as a guest on Minda's blog to talk about how Caralyn was, and perhaps still is, everyone's favorite.
Growing up as pastor's kids in rural East Texas, the church members become your extended family of sorts. We didn't grow up near any actual extended family, and so we welcomed the idea of so many new aunts, grandmas and cousins to act as our surrogate family.
However, things didn't turn out for Minda and me quite as well as they did for Caralyn. When we moved to Cunningham, Texas, I was just on the cusp of entering that awkward phase; you know the one where your face hasn't quite caught up with your teeth yet. Minda, bless her heart, had a bowl cut. Enough said. So needless to say, we weren't quite as cute as Caralyn, the sweet and charming toddler with the chubby cheeks.
One family in particular had a sweet spot for Caralyn. They'd take her shopping, buy her clothes, invite her for sleepovers, and dote on her cute sweet face. The one thing that I recall with the most vivid jealousy, is every, after church, they would invite Caralyn over for dinner, a hallowed tradition in our tiny community that to this day is only slightly less celebrated than Christmas morning. Caralyn would go over to their home for gourmet mac 'n cheese and cupcakes and other culinary delights while Minda and I would schlep home with mom and dad for tuna helper. Boooooo. (No offense mom and dad.)
The salt on the wound was the drop off. Caralyn would be chauffeured back to our home, come bounding out of the car, fists full of candy, in a new dress with the smell of cinnamon rolls on her breath, and blissfully settle in for her afternoon nap with visions of sugar plums dancing in her head no doubt. All while Minda and I pouted in our rooms with fish breath. Such injustice.
Well Caralyn, it's a good thing you're still so cute and we're not bitter.
(PS I'm forwarding you a counseling bill.)