A belated birthday wish to my little sister Sonia

Thirty years ago, when I was hanging out with my cousin Leesa during the sad events leading to our grandmother’s passing, I came to the realization that I wish I had an older sister. Leesa had just completed her first year of university so she was able to give me the skinny on how it worked, especially the debunking Hollywood purports and fear adults try to instill.

Over time, my own weird mind categorized certain female friends into ladies I consider my honorary sisters because I appreciated their insight, wisdom and advice which made them feel more like family than friends. What was even luckier for them, when they achieved such a status, they were safe from me ever asking them out…stupid When Harry Met Sally, how it has screwed up my generation. I never wanted to date a family member since I liked the relationship we had built.

There’s ladies in the older sister group, peer sister group (like my age) and then the younger sisters. Sonia is in the latter. What puts her head and shoulders above the other little sisters in my life is her perspective. I think having three much older sisters meaning (there’s a significant gap between number three and her) gave Sonia a huge advantage on navigating the minefield known as life. When were in our twenties living in Austin, she was never shy about sharing this wisdom, namely in the matchmaking department. I remember her advice to ask Cindy to marry me after Cindy and her friend Kama came down to visit from Minneapolis. I laughed but wanted to know why. Sonia’s argument was pretty convincing yet I was flattered and to explain it was never going to be due to Cindy and me having very different career plans. Years later I told this story to Somara. My wife said, I’m glad you didn’t listen. Then I followed up with Sonia. Her response? I have no recollection telling you this. See? Family! Actually, I think M. Night Shamalamadingdong owes her some money too. The Anna Paquin character from She’s All That must be based upon Sonia if you need a reference point.

I also didn’t want to let the opportunity slide to write about Sonia’s birthday. She is a very important person in my life even if I rarely see her anymore. The special significance she has is that Sonia was the first really new friend I made when I moved to Austin. I had been living in a private dorm for over three months and nothing panned out from my Informal French class (most students were older adults with children). Doc and Eiko were friends I had before I moved so they didn’t count as “new.” I didn’t count John Henry, he was a co-worker I had some beers with. It wasn’t killing me. Contact with friends back in the Midwest and Florida remained ongoing. Just making new friends in Austin was a milestone in my mind that I was progress. Thankfully it happened during the first week of French I class at ACC. Sonia was equally forward as I was in practicing the language and the bus ride from the Rio Grande campus to UT. How relieved I was to know she was an adult and not the typically 18-19-year old college student, nothing wrong with it but I was 25 then, I was hoping to meet people closer in age. I clearly recall her dropping an F bomb in our conversation on the bus toward her job that day, it was pertaining to what Sonia did after high school in Houston and now she was in Austin to earn her degree. Dollars to donuts I bet I can get her to say, “I didn’t say that!”

Here’s to 20 years! May there be 20 more. I got a card in the mail to her sister’s in Houston and I’m piecing together cool stuff for her children Julia and Lucas. I wish she’d visit Austin again, but whenever Sonia and the kids visit from Switzerland, there’s a lot of family who have dibs on their brief window.

This entry was posted in Birthday, News and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.