Today marks Monika's 30th birthday. Monika is the middle sister and some of the stigma surrounding the middle child probably applies to Monika (I think she would agree, she wears her middle sister badge proudly).
One time when we were walking home from school together, some dumb high school boys started mildy harassing us. Monika flipped them off and shouted some obscenities. I will always remember how terrified but also safe I felt because Monika had everything under control and didn't seem scared at all.
When Monika had her first real "career job," and I had recently graduated from college and was still desperately searching for work, she treated me to a Feist concert, and later, even after I had a real job, she bought us tickets (4th row even) to see Leonard Cohen, saying, "Little sisters don't pay!"
I don't know that Monika and I will ever be the kind of besties that we were at ages 5 and 7 or 8 and 10, but I do know that if a boy breaks your heart, and you are in need or sisterly support, Monika will fly up from California twice in one month to take your mind of things. She'll gladly lay in bed with you knitting, drinking wine, and watching Intervention or Hoarders on the TV. She'll walk downtown, pay for your slice of pizza, and spend all evening laughing, dancing, and singing along with the karaoke.
And for those reasons and many more, Monika is pretty f'ing swell.
Happy 30th, dear sister!