Friday, November 19, 2010
My little sister is five. I was lucky that my Dad found someone great and got remarried and now I have a sister, something I have always wanted. I’ve known her since she was a day old and ever since, she has been my shadow.
When she was a year, I started to babysit her. I got blocks and Leggos and stuffed animals for her and she loved them all. Not having any children of my own, I have enjoyed watching her grow.
Her little personality started to develop early but really started to shine around the age of two. She was already starting to exhibit that strong independent streak that runs through our family but now that she is older, I can see how much tougher she is, than I was at her age. She knows what she wants and knows how to make things happen. She doesn’t throw tantrums or fits but looks at me with her very serious little face and basically gives me a speech on why things should be her way. I imagine she will probably be a lawyer one day, complete with briefcase and sensible shoes.
She is also extremely self conscious about how other people see her. She is a beautiful thing. Lovely doe brown eyes and sandy hair but she doesn’t like to stand out. When I took her to the local pool, she wanted to know why all the other children had water wings instead of the antiquated floatie that she had to wear. I told her that she would have to ask her Mom and she shrugged her shoulders and accepted it.
The next time, she was determined to swim without it. I must say, I did notice a lot of little kids diving in the water and swimming like fish. Her mom and Rog were with us, and there were several life guards at the pool so we watched her practice trying to stay afloat. She would get mad if I tried to help her and even when she got a mouthful of water, she waved away any help. Her independence is so unnerving that I tend to be a bit strict with her. When it’s just the two of us, it’s like fort Knox. I don’t want to be responsible for anything happening and so I am often treated to repeated eye rolling from her when I remind her that she has to hold my hand when we walk near the road. Still, she loves coming to my house. It’s filled with all kinds of cool things and she loves our dog Bodie and loves playing hide and seek in all the rooms and best of all, loves to bounce on our huge bed with all the pillows.
Often, when her mom comes to pick her up she will get angry and say, “Come back later, Mom!” She will sulk and complain about all the things we didn’t get to do. Then the negotiations take place, and usually a little bit of ice cream will do the trick.
One of her favorite things to do, aside from dressing like a princess, is to eat breakfast with me. I rarely see her in the morning, so when I do, it’s a treat. We fix all the things she likes and we sit at the kitchen table, her legs swinging wildly underneath. She eats her English muffin with peanut butter and jam and talks about all the things we are going to do when she is older.
She told me that when she is twenty, she is going to buy a house next to mine so we will be neighbors. That melts my heart and I hope that she won’t resent the fact that we will all be old when she is twenty. That’s the downside of having older parents but the upside, is more attention. It does make me feel melancholy at times though, to think that Dad might not be around when she gets married and has children of her own, but you never know.
One day while eating breakfast, she looked at me and said “We are breakfast sisters.”
I said, “That sounds like a restaurant.”
“Yeah,” she said. “We could sell breakfast stuff.”
“Like pancakes and waffles,” I said.
“Yeah, and English muffins with peanut butter and jam.”
She smiled at this thought and said, “Yes, when I grow up, we can have a restaurant called Breakfast Sisters.”
What a lovely thought. I’ll still be in my fifties then, so who knows? I laughed and said, “Breakfast Sisters, it is. We will make a fortune.”
“Yeah and everyone will want to come in there and eat breakfast with their sisters.”
“Yes, they will.” I said.
So, maybe I don’t have all the answers, I might not know the ABC’s of parenting or being the best sister, but I do know one thing. Never crush their dreams, let them think they can do anything and also, enjoy those moments while you can. They are precious, mercurial things and I am so happy that my little Sister and I can have breakfast together, and talk about restaurants, and ‘My Pretty Ponies’ and ‘Thomas the Tank Engine’ and being neighbors and all the good things in the world now, and all the good things yet to come.