Once upon a time there was a little girl named Kelly who lived with her mom, dad, and dog (a Husky named Bandit). Kelly loved that her mom stayed at home and didn't have to work, that she was always able to have play dates with friends after preschool and/or on non-school days, that he dog loved to play with her in the backyard, and that weekends were "daddy time". However, what she didn't know was that there was a deep longing on her parents behalf to give her something special...a sibling. Because she was only 5 years old, Kelly didn’t realize that her mom and dad had been though much heartache and had given up all hope at ever being able to give Kelly that special gift.
When Kelly began Kindergarten in the fall of 1990, it seemed fitting that her mom would return to work, especially with the towns option for extended day Kindergarten (1/2 day of normal class, 1/2 day of 'Play-And-Learn'). Initially, Kelly was devastated that she was loosing her 'mommy time', but after she realized that each new school year would mean clothes shopping and a cool nee lunchbox, she realized that school wouldn't be so bad. Kelly made lots of friends and added them to her list of " play date peeps". Plus she was looking forward to the big vacations...the ski trip in February and trip to Disneyland in August!
The school year was rapidly passing by. Christmas had come and gone and the big Ski vacation in February was fast approaching. However, 2 weeks before the big trip, Kelly got the news that the trip was "changed" and that the family would only be going to the mountains overnight, not for the entire week. Being a typical egocentric kid, Kelly whined and said, "But whhhyyyyyyyyyy???? It’s not fair..........." Her parents just said, "I'm sorry, but there are some things that are out of our control. We'll do something fun another time."
A few weeks passed and the very first signs of spring were beginning to peep though. March had truly come in like a lion, and out like a lamb. Kelly got off the bus one cool, but sunny Friday afternoon and noticed that her dad was home early from work. "Yay!", Kelly thought. She ran up the driveway, skort flapping in the breeze and backpack bouncing on her back, and bolted onto the porch where her mom and dad were standing. "Hi Dad! What are you doing home??"
"Come on in and take a seat, Kel, We have something to tell you."
"Did you get me a new bike?," she asked. (She had clearly outgrown my old one and had no sense that big gifts like that were for birthdays and Christmas...not random Fridays)
"No, sorry Kelly. No bike. Here look at this."
She made one of the, "You have got to be kidding me faces" and said, "What's this??"
Kelly's parents said, "It's a picture."
Kelly said, "Well what is it? It looks ugly"
"Well Kelly, that's your new baby brother or sister. Mom is going to have a baby"
"Oh no!!" Kelly screeched. "You mean I am going to have to share my things?!?!?!"
Not quite the response they had been hoping for, Kelly's parents were crushed. They had waited until 15 weeks to tell Kelly their news. Actually, they had waited until 12 weeks to even tell their families. After 2 previous late losses (neither of which Kelly had been aware of) they couldn't stand the thought/pain of having to tell their only daughter that the baby actually wasn't going to be coming...
That night, as Kelly was being tucked into bed she said, "Mom? Dad? It’s okay. A baby will be fine. Just don't let it cry or make smelly poops. Then I'll be happy."
As the weeks passed and Kelly's mom's belly grew bigger and bigger, and as family and friends talked about the subject more and more, Kelly grew excited about the prospective new member of the family. However, when August rolled around and Kelly said, "So when are we going to Disney?" her parents said, "Oh Kelly, We're sorry. We can’t go to Disney now...Mommy can't fly." "WHAT?!?!?!," she wailed. "But don’t worry, we are going to Hershey Park and Sesame Place in Pennsylvania instead and Katie and Brian and Aunty Linda and Billy are coming too!" "Oh, well...Okay..."
The trip came and went and Kelly had a blast. She started first grade and was finally back into the groove. However, one Thursday morning when she awoke, it wasn't mom and dad in their bed...it was Aunnie.
"Where's my mom and dad?, " Kelly asked.
"Mom went to the hospital last night. She's having the baby, "Aunnie said.
"Ohhhhh, okay. Will she be here when I get home?"
"I don’t think so, but dad will pick you up from school and then you can go visit her."
Kelly ran down the hall and got dressed ( oh how she loved school days when she could wear whatever she wanted...that day's outfit of choice was a red plaid skirt with Scotty dog sweater and striped knee socks and saddle shoes with an enormous red bow headband atop her mop of unbrushed curls).
As Kelly was getting ready to get the bus, the phone rang. It was mom, calling to let her know that she had a baby sister...Colleen!
At that moment, the past 5 months of resentment and jealousy disappeared. Gone was the whining and complaining about things not being fair...she had a new sister!
Kelly left for school and got picked up by her dad that afternoon to go see mom and Colleen. Aside from the sheer look of horror on her mom’s face at the outfit Kelly was wearing, the first union of the new family of four was a success.
"Can I hold her?, "Kelly asked. "Of course you can. Sit in the chair and hold out your arms. Okay, support her head. There you go, very good."
And then Kelly began to sing, "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star....How I wonder what you are....."
That little girl named Kelly is me, and I cannot believe that that day occurred 16 years ago. This Thursday, 9/27 is my little sister's 16th birthday. I cannot believe how fast the time has passed, what an amazing young woman she has become, and how thankful I am to have someone as special as her in my life.
It’s hard to imagine what my life would be without her. Although there is a large age difference between us, we are now becoming the best of friends. It wasn't until I left for college that I realized how big of a part she is in my life; however, since having moved into the *real* working world, I know realize how big of apart we are in each others lives. We have finally reached the point in our relationship where we can call and leave each other random phone messages just to tell the other one about something stilly/dumb that happened during the day, or to check in on the other one's sanity (oh the drama of 10th grade and the reality of being a nurse), or even just to call and say, "I love you! Miss ya!"
I dedicate this post to my sister. without her I wouldn’t be who I am today and (despite a rocky start) I am so thankful that she is a part of my life and no, I really don't mind having to "share my stuff" with her.
Happy 16th Birthday Colleen! I love you.