BIG SISTER

TODAY’S THOUGHTS

I have noticed that I have been starting a lot of entries with, “When I was a little girl.” I am thinking that this is what people do when they have a lot of past behind them. I really plan on having lots of future too, but that being said…

When I was a little girl (less than 5), there were lots of important people in my life – my mom and dad, aunts and uncle, and grandparents. But one of the people with whom I interacted and looked up to the most, was my big sister, Peggy. My older sister is a little over three years older than I. I vacillated between thinking she was the best, smartest, nicest sister ever to the meanest one. She could do all sorts of things that I couldn’t. She could ride a two-wheeler, win at all our games, and roller skate standing up. What, you say, doesn’t everyone roller skate standing up? Our front sidewalk had an almost imperceptible slope towards the street. Peggy would tighten up her skates on the front steps, stand up and off she would go, rolling down the front walk and gracefully around the corner. I just could not bring myself to stand up. I was afraid that I would go careening into the street. So I skated on my “little feet,” my term for crouching on the sidewalk and using my hands as propellers and brakes.

At Halloween, my mother would always make Peggy take me with her to go trick or treating. What fun for her! I would be so excited to go along. Unfortunately, this usually meant that I would throw up because I was so keyed up. Then my mother wouldn’t let me go out. I missed a lot of Halloweens because of that.

Because I was afraid to sleep alone at night (and still am), Peggy would always let me crawl into her bed in the middle of the night. If I was being naughty, she would practice baby toe control on me. This is where she would grab my little toe, twist it and make me hop around after her. This was an excellent control device.

I wanted to be just like her for lots of my formative years. I wanted to ride the same bike, play a musical instrument, learn how to dance, take the same classes in high school. But you know, we were never really alike. Peggy is outgoing, I’m not. Peggy became a nurse, I can’t even put a bandaid on a bleeding cut. Peggy is right coast and I am left.

For all these reasons or despite them, last year when Peggy said, “I want to celebrate my 60th birthday by taking a cruise to Alaska. Will you come?” I said yes. Didn’t even have to think about it. So this Saturday we are off for an adventure. It’s going to be great even if she gets a hold of my little toe.

Happy Birthday in advance, Peggy!

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