Sunday, June 27, 2010


I have a student who always asks me as only a 6-year old would: Are you a big sister? She asks me that in a tone that clearly tells me that big-sisterhood to her connotes a position of great privilege and pride. When I answer her that I am in fact a big sister, she smiles at me in a way that says "Ah! Then you know my joy!"

Two Girls at the Piano (1892)
Pierre-Auguste Renior

The Sisters (1885)
Mary Cassatt
I admit I never thought much about being a big sister at her age. I never went around asking people if they were a big sister as if it was a wondrous thing to be; but that is what I have been nearly all my life. Less than a year younger than me, my sister and I get to be twins for a month every year! She was my first friend, the first person I fought with, the first person I laughed with (along with many other firsts in life). I love her for all her grump, her naiveté, and her discipline.  I know that my life has been fuller for being the big sister to my little sister. I love you Judy.  Happy Birthday!

This is when it all started!
Judy's 1st Birthday!  I think I cared more about the cake.
She was an awkward little thing, wasn't she?  I didn't know what to do with her.
We were each other's first playmates!
We shared many good times together!

How can you not love this face?!


  1. This is the best tribute your sister can get as a birthday present. Happy birthday Judy!
    What a coincidence: I received my music score yesterday in the mail and the cover is the Renoir's painting. And I am also a big sister myself....

  2. Alice, this brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for being my big sister. I love you!!


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