Yesterday was Davis's big second birthday (we celebrated with a party over the weekend and a trip to the pumpkin patch) and today is my little sister's birthday.
Saturday at Davis's party, Gracelyn and I were discussing how "old" everyone was. She told me she would be four on her next b'day and Davis is now two. And that I am apparently somewhere in my late 20's. Then I asked her how old Mommy was going to be and Gracelyn without batting an eye says, "42." Now, as her uncle I am proud of this for two reasons--one is that my sister is already in that whole "I can't believe I'm this old" thing and second of all, Gracelyn hasn't even read Hitchhhikers Guide to the Galaxy
yet but she knows that the number 42 is significant, cool and ultra-hip to throw out as a random number when you don't know the answer. (If you don't know what it's cool or part of the story, either see the movie or better yet, read the books!)
So, I quickly made sure that Susan knew how old her child thought she was and that Uncle Michael was younger. This was not the first time last week that happened. Earlier in the week, I was talking to co-worker about my sister's b'day coming up and the need to find her a present. He then said, "So, she's your older sister, right?" to which I chuckled and replied no, I was the older brother. And then I get the usual--well, you don't look that old.
Man, I love that.
OK, but this is not about me.
I won't reveal the age of my sister here because, well, she's apparently sensitive about it. I will say she's my baby sister and always will be.
I remember bits and pieces of the day she was born. I was three and a half at the time, going on four and I remember getting up and something was odd. Mom was going to go to the hospital and my little three-year old brain immediately forgot why and went into panic mode because Mom was going to the hospital!!!
See, I'd just had heart surgery in February earlier that year and to my three-year old mind, the hospital was where doctors worked and, well, all doctors were associated with the heart surgery and being scared and so....how could Mommy be going to the hospital?!?
Luckily, Dad was going with her, so he could protect her from the evil, mean doctors. At least that is how my three-year old mind rationalized things.
I got to stay with some neighbors, whose name I've forgotten but I remember they had an older kid who put up with me on occasion and the mother drove a jeep. I thought it was cool as all get out that you'd drive around in a jeep. I remember secretly hoping that we'd get to ride around the base on the jeep all day, but I don't think it ever happened.
Anyway, my sister was born and my dad eventually came home to tell me. He told me I had a new sister and that she and Mom were staying at the hosptial and I could see them soon, but not tonight as they were both very tired. Now, I remember a dream I had that night all these years later. Anyone remember in the 70s and early 80s they had Samsonite commericals with a gorilla jumping up and down on the luggage and generally abusing it so as to prove how resiliant it was? Yeah, I had the dream of that gorilla chasing me. At one point, the dream got so intense that I could see four separate screens of the gorilla chasing me and wanting to jump up and down on me and screaming for my Mommy, but she couldn't come and save me because she was with the mean doctors. It was pretty darn scary and intense for a three-year old. To be honest, I'm kind of getting the willies thinking about it right now.
But, it all turned out for the best. The next day, Grandmother came and helped take care of things the first few days. And I got a new baby sister, which was good. One of my first real memories of my sister was being outside in the snow in Kansas City and playing, building a snowman with my dad. Mom brought Susan to the screen door and Dad pointed to her and said, "She is watching her big brother because she wants to play outside like him" which to my four-year old mind was just cool and really made me proud to have a little sister. It also made me wonder why she wasn't big enough to help me build a snowman and do fun stuff like that just yet. Those days would come later...of course, we moved to Hawaii and so making snowmen together wasn't an option really.
And years later, I'm still proud to be her big brother. I have a great sister. I'm blessed to have her in my life and I love her a lot. She is one of my best friends and we always have a good time teasing each other.
So, today is her big b'day. And we'll be gathering to celebrate.
Happy Birthday to my baby sister. Your proud big brother.
posted by Michael Hickerson at 10/18/2005 07:50:00 AM