Thursday, November 4, 2010

Mo-o-om! She's looking at me...tell her to stop looking at me

Tomorrow is my sister's birthday.
Happy Birthday sister2!

I am the third of four children.
Sister2 is the baby of the family and we are one year apart.
One year.
What were my parents thinking?
Perhaps they weren't?

I mentioned in an earlier post here that I was the easiest baby of the four my mom birthed.
Baby sister may have been the most difficult.
Okay, that was just me being nice.
There's really no maybe about it.

She was born in New Mexico.
While my dad was abroad.
And by abroad I mean he was stationed as a Marine in Okinawa, not loving life in a charming English village.

Here's the back story-
I was born in sunny beautiful idyllic Hawaii.
I'm sure all babies born in Hawaii are considered the best babies their mamas have birthed because, come on.... I mean the weather?
What is there to stress out about, even at birth?
When my dad was given orders to go overseas my mama was with child.
So she shlepped her eight year old and her six year old and her one year old and her pregnant self to New Mexico where we all moved into my grandparent's oh so cute, but teeny tiny house.
Shades of The Old Woman who Lived in a Shoe and had so many children she didn't know what to do.
Kind of like that.

It was into this sister2 was born.
And she was not happy.
At all.
She was probably annoyed we had uprooted her from the tropical location where she had envisioned taking her first breath.
Nothing against New Mexico.
I love New Mexico.
But I think we can all agree New Mexico is not Hawaii.

Anyway, she was what they called a failure to thrive baby.
And do you know what?
They cry a lot.
Thank heaven for grandparents and their arms.
My mother, who is now 80 years old, can still recall a 24 hour period where sister2 cried without ceasing.
They just rotated her around from mother to grandmother to grandfather.
While I slept like an angel in my little bitty bed.
Just sayin'.
In her defense she was sick so many times that first year of her life.
She had several bouts of pneumonia and in general a rough start which would naturally make one a little bit feisty.

And so we grew.
Daddy came home and we moved to South Carolina and then to Virginia and then to New Jersey and there we settled.
Older sister1 and I never had any real arguments that I can recall.
I adored her.
She adored me.
We're a happy fam-i-ly.
But there were so many years between us that we were not living the same stages of life at the same time.
Nor were we sharing a bedroom.
Or a closet.
Or air.

Sister2 and I shared a bedroom most of our childhood.
We loved it.
We hated it.
We loved it.
We hated it.

Having a sister so close in age is a complicated thing.

I remember talking in the dark of night across the space between our twin beds.
I remember her throwing a hairbrush at me when I did something that I cannot now recall but that surely made her angry.
I remember dragging our barbies and our kiddles outside and playing for hours under the shade of a big tree in the backyard.

I remember answering the question, "Are you two twins?" at least a hundred million times.
I remember looking at sister2 and her looking back at me and us shrugging our shoulders.
Why do they ask that question we wondered?

I remember the endless negotiating we did over household chores and most especially, cleaning up the kitchen after dinner.
I remember telling off one of her mean boyfriends in the parking lot of his job.

I remember her bathing my first born baby girl in the sink.
Baby girl is now 22.
But never fear.
Sister2 has a baby of her own these days.
Well, he's four so not really a baby anymore but still.
Remember how I said sister2 is one year younger than me?
Remember how I celebrated a BIG birthday this year?
Remember how I said sister2 has a four year old?
Life is funny.
And fun.

Sister2 and I learned a few things from one another growing up side by side.
I suspect her list would be much like mine...

I learned to compromise.
I learned to share.
I learned to tattle.
I learned to keep a secret.
I learned to argue.
And defend.
And duck.
I learned to laugh.
And a lot about love.

"She is your mirror, shining back at you with a world of possibilities. She is your witness, who sees you at your worst and best, and loves you anyway. She is your partner in crime, your midnight companion, someone who knows when you are smiling, even in the dark. She is your teacher, your defense attorney, your personal press agent, even your shrink. Some days, she's the reason you wish you were an only child." ~ Barbara Alpert

Happy Birthday Beebug!
And for the record...
I'm almost positive I never wanted to be an only child.


  1. Oh that was nice. Happy Birthday to your sister!
    My brother and sister are one year apart to the day!

  2. What a great tribute to your sister! Love the pictures. You guys are adorable! Happy Birthday to your sister!

  3. I always wanted a sister. What a beautiful tribute to your sister. I have a nephew and niece that are 14 months apart and that pretty well summed up their growing up years. And they looked so much like twins when they were growing up its not even funny. Thanks for sharing this! Your sister will love it!
    until next time... nel

  4. I loved that too! So sweet! (hope this comment shows up) love u and your sister!

  5. i LOVE reading how much you LOVE your sister, and Mother and whole family...your pics take me back to my early years, too. Love the matching precious

  6. Sister's are wonderful, but I think you have to wait till your an adult to truly appreciate them.

  7. This is really sweet. I'm sure she'll love it.
    My sister and I are 11 months apart. Yes, really! We were both born in 1960! And we are constantly asked if we're twins. Ha. She's older. :)

  8. enjoyed this so much. sisters are the best!! Great photos too. Happt Bday to your sis!

  9. Awwww...Happy birthday to your sis.

  10. You are so lucky! I do have an older sister, but I always wanted a younger one! Since by that point my parents regretted even having me, (I was an oops baby) they never let that happen again. Too bad. It would have been nice.
    Happy Birthday to your sister!

  11. Happy Birthday to Sister #2. I had to share a bedroom with my sister who is 6 years younger. Try that when you're a teenager.

  12. Very sweet... Happy Birthday.

  13. Happy birthday to your sister! My sister that's 18 months older than I (to the day) & I used to get asked all the time if we were twins...which I loved and she hated. She said when we got older (that would be now) that I wouldn't love it so much. Nobody mistakes us for twins anymore, though!

  14. What a great tribute to your sister! Your parents were thinking how nice it would be to have 2 girls close in age so they could grow up and learnn so much from each other. They were smarter than you ever thought.

  15. Beautiful post. Brought tears to my eyes as I thought of how much your sentiments reflected the way I fee about my only sister. I love her very much and wish we lived closer to one another. ( I can see why people thought you were twins.)

  16. Happy Birthday to your sister. What a sweet post. So many memories you have. To think she has a 4 year old, that should keep her on her toes for many years. Loved the pictures.