I knew I was going to have a second baby at my grandpa’s funeral. It was a devastating blow to our close-knit family. Grandpa was the glue, the head, the life force of our entire family. As I sat behind my mom, her sister and her two brothers during the funeral, I realized how much they all leaned on each other to get through that painful day.Will was only five months old when he died, but I knew I didn’t want him to have to stand alone when the time came for us. Not that I was anywhere near ready to even think about another baby with a very cranky, very urpy five month old, who had yet to spend a night in his crib, but I remember the decision was made that afternoon that I would talk Mark into a second baby. Thank God bad math and “natural” family planning eliminated that conversation. Who knew one time could get us pregnant? Seriously. One time that month. Give me a break, Will was only sixteen months old at the time, Mark’s lucky he got it that once.
Anyways, maybe that was my parents’ thought when they decided to create my sister. For me. How thoughtful. Not that I asked for her. At all. I really really didn’t like her from the get go. The famous story is, she was home for 15 minutes and I bit her as a welcome home gift. It really wasn’t her fault. My mom promised not to leave during my nap (because she ALWAYS did), and the woman had the nerve to go into labor during that time. So-naturally, I was mad. And yes, I do remember. I have memories as a three-year old, but for the life of me, I can’t tell you what I had for breakfast this morning (but I am pretty sure it wasn’t Ho Ho’s and a Pepsi, I have grown a bit).
I was a bad sister. So bad, when my grandma died, my mom found a letter written by her to me that she had stashed away telling me that I should be nice to my sister and how God would want it. It wasn’t dated, but it seriously could have happened anytime between the ages of 3 and 18. Another story my sister tells often is when I chased her with a knife (which I don’t remember) AFTER she tried to close the garage door on me and hit me on the head with it (which is probably WHY I don’t remember). Ah the 80’s, when siblings were left alone with only each other after school and garage doors didn’t have safety eyes to stop from squishing you. I think it’s for that reason a lot of our generation are crazy helicopter parents. We know what we did, and I’ll be damned if I let my kids try to kill each other unsupervised every afternoon.
Anyways, fast forward to me moving out, having some crazy fun in college (a story for another time) and eventually turning into a somewhat nice rational human being. Turns out, I really like my sister. In fact, she’s my best friend. She’s the only one who will honestly tell me to put the frumpy sweater back on the Kohl’s shelf and to get my ass on the treadmill. And I get the privilege of telling her the same right back. It’s fun to joke about being the fattest people in the room, and being able to laugh knowing you are not destroying the other person’s self image, because they know you well enough to know you are not being malicious, just funny, and a bit truthful, but the what the hell, she is the same size as me anyways.
It’s fun to have someone to just give a look to when your dad does something stupid or when you know your mother has phased out on the phone watching HGTV and simply responding occasionally with, “Uh huh, ya, I know…,” when you’ve just told her you are thinking of selling your kids to the mafia and you think you have an STD from your cheating husband. (Yes, mom, I’ve said this stuff and that’s how you responded, seriously, it’s a fun game we play.)
My sister’s lived it with me. Knows why I am crazy and dysfunctional and why I think the way I think. She understands why I am crazy messy and disorganized, because she stole all those OCD genes from my parents, or my dad isn’t my real dad and Pig Pen is, which would make way more sense. She knows I will do everything in my power to be there for her no matter what. She knows I will do nothing but root for her in all things and only want good things to happen. She knows that I think she is an awesome mom and thank God everyday that she got the opportunity to be one. Plus, above all, I will need her with me to take care of my parents as they get crazier and crazier, and thank God yet again that she has the bigger house to take care of my dad when mom decides she’s had enough and heads for heaven.
Love ya sis. You totally owe me a present for all the schmoopiness. And don’t get schmoopy back, because frankly, you aren’t that good at it.