Let me explain....
My sister just turned 12. That's right: we are almost 19 years apart. That's right-go ahead, do the math......She was born when I was a freshman in college. No, we don't have the same dad, but that doesn't matter to me. Well, wait-let me re-phrase that-I don't consider her a half-sister. She is just my sister. That's it. No 1/2 and a hyphen before it. Now, her dad? Well, that's another whole story. He is a bit of an ass, if I'm being honest (as I always seem to be).
I still remember the day my mother told me about my sister. It was one of the last weeks of summer before I started college. I was out all night, slept in when I wasn't working, and getting ready for an abnormal college life (I wasn't going to be living on campus; I was staying home). My mom and I weren't talking every day since she had left my dad almost a year before. Not that we weren't still close, but, well, it was different.
My father arrived home from work to tell me that my mom really needed to talk with me. By the look on his face, I could tell something was wrong. I immediately asked about her health, as she had several strokes when I was growing up. He didn't comment.
I arrived at the house my mom was sharing with my grandmother. My mom was sitting on the back of her car. She calmly told me that she was pregnant, and that it was a girl. She stated that she had just found out, and she would be having the baby in a couple of months. I vaguely remember her showing me a sonogram picture, and telling me that her profile looked like mine.
As is true form for me, I was supportive. I murmured encouraging, kind words. But inside? I was a bit numb, I guess. I just didn't really know what to think or feel. This was all brand new territory for me.
She later told my brother, and he took it hard. There were several outbursts about her, before she was even born, and many, many more after her birth. It was hard.
I am sad to say that I was not present when she was born. I didn't even know she had been born. By that time, my mother and I were having some issues (all pertaining to her disappearance from our family for awhile), so we didn't talk for days on end. It wasn't until 3 days after her birth that I went to my mother's house for help on something that I felt I couldn't go to anyone else about. When I walked into her room, there lay my little sister, Angelina, in a bassinet. She was so teeny tiny! I remember her head fit easily in the palm of my hand. She had the prettiest green eyes.
I will admit that I was not awe-struck right away. I had to sort out my emotions first. But pretty quickly, I was smitten. She was a happy baby.
I was the one that picked her up from daycare when my mom couldn't. I was the one that took care of her when my mom couldn't. I was the one that bought her clothes, food, toys, when my mom couldn't.
My husband taught her how to drink out of a straw when she was about a year old. He also taught her to say 'Aw, shit'. I fed her PopRocks for the simple, perplexed look on her face. I spoiled her, just as I had done with my brother when he was little.
Over the years, we have remained close. Up until I told everyone I was pregnant with my girl, we spent a lot of time together. Our relationship changed when I became pregnant. Both my brother and sister seemed put out by my pregnancy, like I had screwed up their lives by starting my own family. With the hormones and all, I wasn't always very supportive, or full of encouraging words. Sometimes, I was outright pissed off that they were literally mad at me for being pregnant! I mean, REALLY??
It was a hard transition for my sister and I, when my girl was born. I look back on the pictures from that time, and I see that she really was still such a little girl, only 7 when my girl was born. And it strikes me that she was near the age my brother was when he found out about my mother's pregnancy.
We are still learning how to be sisters to each other-we fight, we argue, we laugh, we giggle. There's no sister I would rather have. She is smart and funny and talented. She tells never-ending, no-point stories. She is a good aunt to my girl. She drives me crazy, but at the same time, she makes me smile. And as my mother always reminds her, I will get her back for all the hell she has given me over the years! Just wait, Angel! You will be an adult before we know it, and I will pop your bra. You will be pregnant someday, and I will be sure and make up a song about how you are a 'cranky, miserable woman'. Don't you worry.Isn't she gorgeous!!!??