Have I told you that my sisters are supermodels? No? First of all, thanks to our mom (she's the one in the middle that all my high school friends used to hit on/drool over) and dad for some good genes. Most of which I did NOT inherit, being the short/chunky one of the family by comparison. I wear heels and black a lot, which helps.
Lemme tell ya - it wasn't always that way. Once upon a time, they were just two funny little girls with messy hair (Pamby) and the most heart-rending fake cry on earth (Roni). NOTE: Those are not thier real names, just what we call them. Being the older than them by almost-five and almost-seven years, I would often look at them and say in my big-sister wisdom, "STOP FOLLOWING ME!" or in other, more touching words, "I'M GONNA TELL MOM IF YOU DON'T GET OUT OF MY ROOM!". There were probably a million times that I smacked them (not hard) , or wanted to. It was never a question of not loving them to bits, they just drove me up the wall in the way only tag-along siblings can do. Before they were born, I'd said to my mom, "Mommy, we have to have a whole handful of people." - meaning five, one for each digit. Bossy is my MIDDLE name. I honestly thought that a baby brother would be a little buddy that I could take around like a live doll. Notice that I said little brother - when I think back on how determined I was to have one, it was probably due to my conviction that I was the Center of the Family and a BROTHER could not usurp that position. Heh.
I also had a deep crush on a little boy in my kindergarten class named Aaron. My parents, being a) young ... actually when I think about it, my mom was pregnant with #2 AT MY AGE, and b) extremely easy-going, decided to let me name the baby. This being before the days of 4=D ultrasounds and such, her gender was unknown. Right up until the day she was born in their bedroom, at which point they actually let me check and see what was there. Or, in fact, not there. They'd also agreed to let me name the baby, a feat of such incredible courage I'm still not over it. I went over to where the leg curled-up, vernix-covered brand new baby was lying and yelled out,
"It's a BOY!"
Blink, blink, baby cries her first heart-rending, goat-y sounding cries. "No sweetie, its a GIRL."
"Well, I don't care, I'm STILL naming her Aaron!" Thankfully for my sister, Erin is a pretty name and my four-year old self didn't know the difference for years.
Imagine what would have happened I'd had a crush on a boy named Jeffery.
Pamby was another story altogether from the start - she was born dramatic and has never gotten over it. The midwife that delivered her said, "She reminds me of Sandra Bernhardt!" when she was three days old. Always the kid wearing my mom's tall (riding style) boots with a lampshade and a diaper. Or my dad's boots with a gray wig and a giant T-shirt. Jam, crumbs and a smile on her face as wide as the Golden Gate Bridge. At age two, she decided to open the car door (fortunately our babysitter was just about to stop) and flew! out of the car. She earned a few scrapes, a hole punched through her little lip and a scar that you can just barely see, if you know where to look and get really, really close.
She was the girl who would throw herself into any activity she did- sleeping (head on a rock or an old smelly dog or a doormat) eating (till she was coated in food) crying (tears shooting out of her eyes like waterworks, face contorted with anguish) The "brave" one of the two of them, who would dare to ask for a mint for Roni, who was always petrified with shyness. Roni's champion, she would dare to smash a bug with a defiant STOMP of her tiny foot. The same kid who decided to give herself a Little Dutch Boy haircut at age three (cut into her finger whilst going round the back bits) and shave her head at age 16. I have it on good authority that it was "actually cute", and I believe it.
Once Roni decided to "share" a tiny box of raisins with Baby Pamby, who was sitting in our swingset at the time. She dropped them in, one by one, into the little open mouth. Thirty seconds later, when poor Pamby was turning blue and choking, my mom turned back around and immediately upended her and whacked her on the back. Which explains why this is a funny, not tragic story. See? We all survived to tell the tale. The pretty lady in the middle of us is our "Auntie Yoda" (I named her this at age 3, after seeing Star Wars, because she was "so wise"). She was my "other mom" for the first four years of my life when we all lived together.
Than one day, a funny thing happened: Sometime after S. and I got married and they moved away - They both grew up, got jobs and interests and stories that I don't (and probably will never) know about. We talk on the phone often and write letters and cards back and forth. The stories that I'd be able to read on their faces are obscured by time, distance, different schedules and Life. I can't see them every day, and haven't seen most of my family for more than a year. I miss them the way I miss nothing else - Fortunately, I know they're still Those Pesky Brats from once upon A Time. Deep, deep down there. Love you guys!