My little sister Abbi just turned 13. I can’t believe the day has finally come: she’s a teenager. Sometimes it’s weird to have a sister who’s a full 10 years younger than me, but I love that it allows me to vicariously relive all that wonderful middle school awkwardness – first crush, first armpit hair, first period (srry gross) – and remember all the fun/weird times that I had at that age.
I have to say, my little sis is handling it all like a champ. She’s a total sweetie, although pretty shy – a fact she laments, since middle school boys apparently don’t go for shy girls. She thinks she’s a nerd, since she wears glasses, gets a few pimples now and then, and is a normal little girl (not a sexually precocious, lipgloss-applying Bratz doll). “The guys just don’t go for nerdy girls,” she tells me.
Oh, Abbi – believe me, I know. I was a nerdy girl. I was quiet and shy, and when everybody started “dating” in sixth grade, I felt like I was being left in the dust. And it didn’t end there – I didn’t have my first boyfriend until I was 18, and didn’t feel like a confident, talkative, interesting person until late in college.
Abbi’s got the jump on me, though. Because the other day, she revealed to me that over the course of the school year, she had actually worked up to nerve to ask out her crush – three times. Not once. Not twice. Thrice.
“Did he finally say yes??” I asked, excitedly.
Well… it turns out he didn’t. But that didn’t bother Abbi: “I tell my friends, you just have to go for it,” she told me. “Don’t worry if he says no. It doesn’t matter. At least you tried.”
Isn’t that inspiring?? I might just be an overly sentimental big sister, but I truly believe that my little sis is wise beyond her years. I’m blown away by her ability to take what’s considered to be a huge personal risk (especially at that age, and in a small school, no less) and to take multiple rejections in stride.
Getting shut down hasn’t reduced her to rubble, or weakened her resolve – she asked Zack out (aren’t middle school crushes always named Zack?) two more times after that. What a badass!!! I wish I had her bravery at that age. Heck, I wish I had her bravery now. I consider myself truly lucky to have such an inspiring little sister.