Dearest little sister,

Watching you grow I’ve come to realise some things: a) it is interesting to have little sisters, b) some things never change and c) where the beep did time fly?

Watching you grow, learn to manage and overcome some big obstacles has made me proud as punch and ridiculously grateful to have a little sister like the one that I have.

It’s generally the older siblings to teach the younger ones, and whilst this is the case most times, I have also found that the younger ones can teach the older siblings a thing or two.

Growing up as an only child for half my childhood, one got used to “one-person” games, as well as learning to entertain oneself when bored.

For the other half of my childhood, I learnt when to share and when not to, that younger siblings can often be your best friend (irregardless of age gap), and how to establish a (loving) hierarchy of sibling authority. I also learnt to set up boundaries, and that younger siblings (when bored) can be really annoying when you’re trying to study for exams so you learn quickly methods to annoy one another without getting into trouble.

Yet I also learnt to view life through an energetic, opinionated point of view and through this lens, it taught how to relate theoretical awesome knowledge to young people.

Despite all the arguments, the tricks played on each other, I’m grateful for the friendship and close relationship with my sister. The discussions about Pokémon (what move is good, what Pokémon should I get, what name should I give it), the banter about life and the 10 minute laughing fits are some of the things I cherish most.

Time flies by quickly, siblings shoot up in growth spurts and once when they were shorter than you, they now tower over you (or are at eye level). Treasure the time spent with them because time goes quickly and life is short.

So, to my sister that looks like me but whose personality is so similar yet so different, I love you.

Yours,

Sophia

xx

To my grandparents,

 

It is hard to count the number of life lessons I’ve learnt from my grandparents on a single hand. Both my maternal and paternal grandparents taught me the value and importance of family, as well as the benefits of a good work ethic. My grandmothers instilled in me a love of the craft (regardless of how terrible I am) and an appreciation for strong matriarchs.

My grandfathers instilled in me a quiet love of family history. My maternal grandfather shared his love of pear schnapps, the comedian Loriot and the joy of a simple Kartoffelsalat with me. My paternal grandfather taught me the joy of words, how to play chess and instilled in me a quiet pride in my Dutch heritage and where I’ve come from.

My maternal grandmother and I share a love of cooking and baking. My paternal grandmother taught me how to knit, and how to create a warm and loving home filled with happy memories. She taught me how to love others in all their eccentricities.

Today’s “National Grandparents Day” is tinged with slight bittersweetness as I’ve had to say goodbye to my maternal grandfather 7 years ago. But amongst the bittersweetness, lies a fierce pride and love for my grandparents, who have taught me so much.

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To my grandparents,

Thank you for making me smile and laugh, and passing on your wisdom and knowledge. 

Thank you for being the quiet, loving support whenever I’ve needed it. Thank you for the words of advice over countless cups of tea and biscuits. But most of all, thank you for loving me.

Yours,

Sophia
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