Sometimes it takes a person with a *perfect* life for you to realize how lovely your own is.
So, my sister Bridge is trying to have a baby.
She's 27 and married to one of the most wonderful men in the world. They're a cute little couple living in a cute little townhouse in Big City Atlanta with fabulous careers and limitless potential.
And I am so jealous of her.
Not the kind of jealous that used to spur wicked bad fights of hair pulling and sweater stealing and hairbrush throwing in the days of old. More like the kind of jealous that gives birth to those invisible conversation clouds above my head filled with "Gee, I wish someday I'm lucky enough to live her kind of life."
Lucky because she has a wonderful marriage and is getting ready to embark on the biggest change our family has experienced since I was the first one to leave home. Motherhood - the next step of adulthood that will for the first time put her "ahead" in the race of What's Next.
Then I remember life isn't a race. It doesn't matter how fast or slow you get to the Finish Line. It's how well you play the game along the way.
And Bridge says I am playing very, very well.
And she's jealous.
My mom and dad will drop hints every once in a while letting me know Bridge wishes she could sometimes walk around in my Size 10 75% off BCBG Girl shoes. Bridge says she wishes she could be the one to go on single gal-pal trips to Vegas or Boston. Wishes she could be the one who gets to go out and stay out with her friends at all hours of the night. Wishes she could be the one who had a next first kiss to look forward to. Wishes she could buy all the Coach she wanted and not worry about paying her husband's grad school tuition or mortgage or other Grown Up bills. The kind of stuff I've been eschewing since I was born I turned 22.
Bridge wishes she could be the Gal About Town who is enjoying her moment of independence. The chick who is making her own money (and spending her own money) the way she wants to. The girl who only has to answer to the demands of a career and any other commitments she may choose to get tied up in.
The girl living by her own rock n' roll, Freebird kind of anthem.
And I guess when I see it that way, it sounds pretty damn good to me, too.
The picture doesn't look quite like the sketchy portrait I often paint of myself.
Almost 30 something woman still paying rent solo.
Paying the bills and living paycheck to paycheck.
Never having a standing date to the parties and events and obligations I get invited to.
Wondering when my life is going to get a little bit more full with the trappings of romance and family.
And I suppose that's one great thing about having sisters.
They get to look at the portrait and point out the dramatic, heavy brushstrokes. The quirky choices of color. The unique nature of the artist's perspective.
And then I feel beautiful again.
A beautiful, single woman who is bursting with excitement about the chance to be a fabulous aunt.