Every year, I love thinking about the day she was born. Mom and Dad woke me up while it was still dark outside to say they were going to the hospital “to go get my new brother or sister.” I was nervous, scared, and excited. Oh, and I was four. Having intense emotions like this mixed up in one moment in time was a new thing for my pea brain. I believe I handled it well though… I went back to sleep.
Later, Granny came over to the house and took me to her place for a night or two. That afternoon, I got to use my little pool with the built-in “slide.” We always set it up in the grass alongside her house, and filled it with hose water. That particular day, I had my blow-up toys in the pool with me: a blow-up blue turtle wearing a red hat, and a Pebbles Flintstone. I used to really like Pebbles when I was little.
And I was wearing my white satin bikini. How swanky! A four year old in a satin bikini… you’d think with a get-up like that, so early on in life, I’d have grown up into someone who wore skimpy clothes all the time or something. Nope. Anyway, that day, I remember not wanting to actually go in the water because if I did, the material of my bikini wasn’t going to feel the same way. So I guess this means that I was sitting out there, rubbing my own bikini. I wonder where I was rubbing it? Oh, dear Lord. What did the neighbors think? Well, whatever it was, they were wrong. I was just a kid who liked textures. Not inappropriate touching. Oh, helllllll no!
Wait. I was talking about my sister’s birthday. How did I start talking about inappropriate touching? Anyway, let’s get back to what’s important.
She was born in the afternoon, I think, because Granny told me I had a baby sister as she stood on the metal staircase to the door to the kitchen. I was happy… I’d been hoping for a sister!
We went to visit everyone in the hospital, and I don’t remember that as much. According to family legend, I proclaimed my sister was a Conehead to anyone who’d listen. I loved SNL even as a wee little bastard. (How awesome are my parents that they let me watch it, too? Yay!)
Mom and my sister came home from the hospital a few days later or something. Granny was there, of course. We went to the top of the yard where a wild rose bush grew, and we each picked some roses to make a bouquet for Mom. I pricked my fingers on the thorns. Yet I was still posing happily for a photo or two with those roses, standing next to Granny, excited as hell to meet my new sister.
My life changed forever that day. She came home wrapped in a white blanket, and she was much smaller than I’d expected. She was doll-sized! They let me hold her once I sat on the couch. There’s a photo of it, in fact. The happy expression on my face says it all. (I’ll post it later!)
It was wonderful to not be alone anymore. I finally had another kid in the house! And I totally took her over, too. Heh. I made her into a little pod person in my image. Except, of course, that didn’t go exactly as planned…
For instance, she was fiesty. Bolder and more willing to lay-shit-on-the-line for people from a early age than I ever was. She didn’t like people who came up to her and cooed baby talk at her in the grocery store: she would make a face at the person. Once she could talk, she added phrases like: “What are YOU looking at?” and “Leave me alone!” Yeah, the adorable little baby girl with the curly brown hair and huge cartoon eyes and little gold earrings was a BABY BITCH!
And I loved it!! I still love it. I’m so glad my sister was never a pushover or a phony. She’s always been herself. Even back then. That is just really, really cool.
I have more memories than I could ever count about our childhood. We had so much fun. We didn’t fight very much, and when we did, it was over in minutes. She was my best friend from the moment I made her laugh really, really hard by pushing a little choo-choo train filled with chocolate Easter candies back and forth across the table in front of her on Easter Sunday. She was laughing so hard she was gulping for air, her face beet red. It. Was. AWESOME. From that point on, we made each other laugh all the damn time. And you know what? We still do it all the damn time.
My sister is funny. She has the best sense of humor in the world… well, of course, I think that. Because I have the same one. But really, she makes a lot of people laugh on a regular basis and has a unique way of seeing the world. She can see the comedy in the randomness and the pain-in-the-ass stuff.
She is very wise in terms of knowing herself and how to communicate with people. She’s better at this than I have ever been, and I go to her for advice all the time. I just vent and she helps me put shit into perspective. She says things that sound very mature and like she secretly holds a degree in counseling. I don’t know if she knows how good she is at doing this…until now, maybe!
She’s got a TERRIFIC game face. She has to– she puts up with the Great Unwashed Masses every single day in her effed-up job. She knows how to play the game and do what she has to do. She buckles down, gets work done. She doesn’t take any shit, but she is NICE about it. She knows how to talk to people; all kinds of people. She knows how to read them and give them what they need. I love this about her. I learn a lot from the few moments when I am visiting her at work and someone comes in to her office. I’m always like, “Wow, that’s my sister, taking control of that. Look at ‘er go!” And then I secretly wish I had that talent. I’m a little shy, and I spend my days hunkered in a lonely cubicle. Put me out in a group of different personalities, and I freeze up. Not my sister, though. She can do the Game Face thing WITHOUT coming off like an insincere phony asshole. She’s not like a salesperson. She’s cool.
And my sister is great at relationships. I am so proud of her and how she handles her marriage. They have such an incredible relationship, seriously. They talk and help one another; vent and figure out solutions to problems that come up; they have separate bank accounts and do their own thing from time to time with no signs whatsoever of jealousy or resentment. You should have seen how well she handled it when her husband went to L.A. for six months last year. Not many marriages would handle it as cool and easy as they did. I know it was NOT easy for either of them, though. But they did it, got through it with minimal bitching, and they’re now just one of the nicest couples you’ll ever meet. They’re nice to be around. And they will make you laugh your ass off. The two of them are the funniest people I know.
So, that’s my praise for my little sister. I can’t believe she’s (AHEM)-years-old already and that we are the adults we grew into… it’s amazing. I love her so much and appreciate her beyond words, really. She’s the best. I’m lucky I got her. So glad God didn’t send me an asshole!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SCHWES!!