Sixteen years ago today my world was forever changed...I became a sister. I remember the day just like it was yesterday. It was my last week of 8th grade. I had just turned in my Algebra 1 final exam when someone in the front office interrupted Mrs. Haley's class and called my name over the intercom. I was expecting it to happen at some point during the day because Mama had gone to the doctor that morning and the kid was already 6 days late. I, being the semi-nerdy kid with red [yes, red, not brown] frizzy hair and tortoise shell glasses that I was, was just relieved that I had finished with my test before Daddy got there to pick me up.
Honestly I can't remember how I felt on the car ride to the hospital, but I do remember how I felt in the first weeks after I learned that my only child world was about to be rocked. I cried. A lot. To my defense, I was in the 8th grade (with frizzy hair and tortoise shell glasses) and that's not the greatest time during one's adolescence anyway. My parents should just be relieved that this new addition did not result in heavy therapy costs for their first born. I should probably clarify something now so I don't come across sounding like a total only child - when I was a little girl, I would beg for a baby brother or sister. I can remember begging my mom for one and she always told me that I had to ask Jesus for one. So then I would pray for a baby brother or sister so that I would have someone to play with me. You know, for when my parents were doing those boring adult things like discussing their day with each other after dinner or napping on Sunday afternoons. But eventually as the years went by and I grew older, I adjusted quite nicely and decided that being an only wasn't so bad after all. Of course I was always a little envious of my friends who had siblings just because it was apparent that there was some sort of bond there that I would never really know, but Mom, Dad, and I spent a lot of time camping and hiking on the weekends, and they were both always at all of my games or banquets or recitals whereas families that have multiple children often have to divide and conquer which results in missing out on something. [Obviously we did not spend much time on my ability to write smaller sentences that are not run-on's.] Whatever anxiety or uncertainty that I had about adding a new member to my family prior to Ethan's birth pretty much vanished as soon as he was born. I loved him the first time I held him. Then when he came home from the hospital a couple of days later, it was like he had always been there, and I couldn't really remember what our home was like without him in it. Our family dynamics had definitely changed but it was for the better. I didn't really mind that it took literally a sweet forever to get ready to leave the house to go anywhere and more often than not, we would be finally on the way out the door and he would yarf all over himself or one of us. Ethan has always been a charmer with his big blue eyes and smile that will melt even the hardest of hearts so I could never stay too upset with him for very long...even if he did ruin my favorite sweater. Unfortunately I did nothing to prepare my parents for raising their second born. He is a risk-taker. He will question authority. He chooses to beg forgiveness rather than ask permission. Some might argue that he's just a daring boy, which is true. Regardless of our differences in personality, he's a good kid who has made good decisions thus far in life. I just pray that he keeps making them as he enters this oh so tumultuous time of teenager-dom. Mom and I were talking this weekend at his ballgame about how he's changing so much and she put it perfectly when she said that there is a man inside a little boy's body trying to fight his way out. So of course I told her for the umpteenth time that she just needs to read Wild at Heart and it will make her life so much easier, but according to her she never has any time to read. Excuses, excuses...I can't help it she chose to have another child 5 years after Ethan was born. I've been asked more than a couple of times about why my parents waited so long to have more children. The truth is that having three children in a 19 year period was nowhere in their plan. Ideally they would have had another child when I was about three or so. Looking back I cannot imagine how hard it must have been for them to go all those years with me begging for a sibling when they wanted another child more than anything too. However the timing of Ethan's birth is a true testament of how God's time is always the right time. The best time. On time. Only God had the foresight back in the early 80's to know the challenges that our family would endure over about a 7 year period with dad's business. I don't know that they could have afforded another child. [I know they couldn't have considering my love for shoes and purses developed at a very young age.] Sure, it made absolutely no sense at the time. Yet in the overall grand scheme of things, we don't have the ability to see more than about 5 minutes into the future. [Thank goodness.] But now, 16 years later it makes perfect sense that my parents would have their first two children 14 years apart. I think we all question God's timing at least once or twice [or 452 times] along the way. Or maybe I'm the only one with this inquiring mind. Sometimes it's hard to see past the present when I am seemingly stuck in a holding pattern, but that little boy who I now have to look up to in order to see his big blue eyes [and perfectly tanned skin and straight hair...not that I'm jealous or anything] is a great reminder that the wait is always worth it.
Happy Birthday, buddy. Your big sister [who according to you always tries to act like your mom] loves you very much.