Friday, May 22, 2015

Reflection #35/40

My best birthday was when I turned four. That’s when I got the gift of a little sister.

We were in Louisville, staying with my grandparents. One morning I got up and looked around for my mother. I asked my grandmother, Da, where she was. She said, “She’s in the hospital, having a baby.” I couldn’t believe it. At first, I thought Da was joking, but she convinced me that she was telling the truth.

This is how I remember it, though it doesn’t really make sense. Obviously my parents had told me that I was going to have a new sibling. Was I really not paying attention at all for nine months?

We went to the hospital. I looked through a window and saw a row of babies in cribs. One of those babies, they told me, was my sister Cynthia. 

Cynthia was born on May 22nd. As I remember it—though, again, this seems odd—she came home to my grandparents’ house on my birthday, the 27th. I remember playing in the yard with my friend Dave
, that day, and wearing my father’s old Indian Guide uniform, and being excited at her arrival.

I have since learned that it is normal for kids to resent their newborn siblings. For whatever reason, I didn’t. I liked her from the beginning. And, aside from normal arguments, and disagreements about who was taking up too much of the back seat in the van on long family trips (her), we have always gotten along.

Cynthia and I played together, with Transformers going to parties with Barbies, Barbies fighting alongside Transformers. Our toys formed a super-hero team, fought evil, and operated a hair salon on the side. Thanks to me, she learned the names of obscure super-heroes (e.g., Doctor Fate); thanks to her, I learned all about the Babysitter’s Club (e.g., Claudia has a phone in her room and is obsessed with junk food.)

Over the years I’ve known a lot of people with sexist attitudes, and I like to think I’m not very sexist. A lot of that probably comes from growing up with a little sister who I loved. If my sister was a fun and interesting person, then girls were probably okay. In fact, they were probably just as good as boys.

My sister went on to become a superstar, with degrees and an impressive resume and glamorous friends. 
She's smart and talented. Now she’s all grown up and drives a car and has a job and everything, but I still remember when she came home from the hospital, and she’ll always be my little sister.

Happy birthday, Cynthia!

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