my little sister...

do any of you have sisters? younger sisters that are really close to your age? and did you share a bathroom growing up? and by “share a bathroom” i mean did you divide up the bathroom when you are mad at each other (twice a week) and each of you had part of it and heaven help me, don’t you cross the line into my half?

by the way.. my half consisted of my sink and the toilet. she still had her sink and the bathtub. i maintained that i had the better half because you needed to use the toilet a LOT more than the bathtub and by bathtub i mean bathtub because we had no shower. i was in college when i started using a shower. i was and still am a bathtub girl even though there is no bathtub in our master bath (and by “master” bath, i mean a bathroom that is 5 feet by 7, so there is no room for a tub) and the tub in the kids bathroom is unglazed now and isn’t really comfy for bathing. sigh... i miss a good bathtub.

my sister and i have twin baby dolls and we loved to play that we were sisters and our husbands were away at war and we had houses next door to each other and were raising our babies that happened to be born at the same time together. hers was named “tishy” and my baby was named “tender”. thus documenting the well-known fact that you should be over 21 before you are actually allowed to name a child...

anyway, our lives turned our very different from our childhood play. we live about a mile from each other (NOT next door), our husbands are NOT away at war (but when they are both out of town for work or working late, we do go to chick-fil-a for dinner together with our kids), and we did have two babies at almost the same time (my rosie and her rhodes) and they are bestest friends. but they don’t look anything like tishy and tender looked. tishy and tender both had blonde curly hair and tender’s pink finger had been bitter off by someone (i believe it was my brother, max). so see how different reality turned out... note to self, remind rosie to keep her fingers away from uncle max’s teeth....

my sister an i are opposites in a lot of ways. she homeschools her children, she is petite and polite to everyone, she is the BEST cook ever and makes a huge dinner look effortless, she is a behind the scnes kind of gal, she doesn’t read my blog, and she never watches t.v. or goes to the movies, in fact she has most likely never seen a show on mtv... ever... really, i don’t understand anything about her. but i do love to eat her poundcakes and i understand what it means to have a sister and i don’t know what i would do without her in my life.

and i am fairly sure that she really likes me (on most days) and she would let me use her bathtub if i asked her. i talk to her almost everyday and i think if we allowed it, rosie would move in with toots and bud (that is what my kids call my sister and her husband, we are big on fake names in my family, it is almost like we are in some kind of witness protection plan, no one is known by the nieces and nephews by their real names....)

i feel the burden of having a little sister sometimes, i want the best for her, i want to take care of her, i want to fight the dragons for her. i feel it in a way that i don’t feel it for my brothers. they can fend for themselves. but i feel that need to take care of my little sister. does she feel that burden for me? i don’t know. i would have to ask her. 

i think she feels more the burden of having an older sister, of being the little sister, the second one. having someone who did everything first and went everywhere first and made her mark known everywhere and then came the little sister. i hope she doesn’t feel that weight too heavily. i know that i can be a bit overwhelming. i don’t think that i would want to be my own friend, or my own little sister. then again i might be an EXCELLENT big sister... ok, even i don’t believe that... i just hope i am an o.k big sister. one who might get a bit better every year until one day we are in a nursing home together and she is making me pound cakes every week and we are the best of friends, and the most popular gals in the nursing home.

of course, there is this one little matter of her children. you see, i had a girl, millie, and then 2.5 years later, i had a boy, maxx, and then 2.5 years later, i had another girl, rosalea.

and she had a girl right after i had maxx and 2 years later, she had a boy, and then 2.5 years later, she had another girl...

and to that i say, “mom, she’s copying me!!!!!!!!”

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.  ~Barbara Alpert

There can be no situation in life in which the conversation of my dear sister will not administer some comfort to me.  ~Mary Montagu

i have NO idea what we are all dressed up for in this first photo circa 1976, but max is STELLAR in that suit. my little checkered dress is a long dress also, but thank goodness i don’t have the lovely pinafore like my sister. and i must have known that whatever i was wearing would one day prove to be tres embarrassing, so i leaned down to look like a doting big sister and spared a full view of the dress.

do NOT, i repeat do NOT look closely at my feet in the second photo (circa 1988). do NOT see that i bejeweled gems on those tennis shoes and then wore two pairs of socks to match my sweater and belt colors. look only at my sister’s hair and wonder how many hot rollers it took to make her straight hair THAT full of curls....