Archive for January 26th, 2010

She is smart, pretty, and cool and I want to be just like her.

January 26, 2010

Today my sister turns 26. For her, a handful of select childhood memories:

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Bite Monster: the scariest fucking game in the universe. She would chomp her teeth together and advance on me; she was like Michael Myers. It didn’t matter how fast I ran or where I went, her slow and steady gait inspired a level of terror in me you would not believe. For awhile I thwarted her by stiffening my arms into straight lines, making fists, and moving them up and down in an alternate way. This stopped working as soon as she realised I wouldn’t actually hit her.

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Behind our house and nice green grass with requisite trees was a strip of woods. These woods had a teensy tiny creek. In the winter we would snowsuit ourselves up and slide along the ice on our bellies. One year the ice cracked (I’m talking a trickle of water here, people) and the brown water began to pool on the ice. We freaked and semi-climbed a tree, staying there for hours.

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Blondie also liked to try to punch me in the stomach (seeing a pattern here, people?). I stopped her doing this by telling her I was pregnant with twins: Daisy and Joey. A few years in and a triplet appeared: Petunia.

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The anger in my chest as I realised she and her friend had gone through my paper journals with a red pen, making bitchy little notes in the margin.

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The pride that swelled in me every time I got to see her play volleyball in high school. Or run track. Or do that scary ass high jump thing. She was really, really good at sports and I was really, really good at sitting in the stands and sending her good vibes.

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Saturday Night Sneak Out Club. No list of memories would be complete without this on the list. I decided that every Saturday night we would wait until our parents were asleep, then find a location in the house to have a slumber party for two. I even dedicated a notebook to recording our escapades. We never actually did this; she says that she used to come and try to wake me up and I would just flail at her in my sleep.

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Camping in …uh….Country C. The way you could earn a button/badge thing for every bag of garbage you collected. Riding our bikes to the nightly educational movies. Climbing the rocks at the end of the beach. Stony beaches. The island on the sand dune. Bears at the dump.

Did you know, Blondie, we went when you were very little and stayed in a tent? You rolled over on top of a lantern and your sleeping bag melted.

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Watching my mother dive into the swimming pool to rescue baby Blondie after she had rolled in and sunk to the bottom. Watching the babysitter drop Blondie on her head on the hardwood floors of our family room. Watching Blondie fall on her head onto an asphalt parking lot.

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Vampires: a semi-scary, delicious game. (All our games involved biting, apparently.) We would take turns securing ourselves in a pile of pillows and blankets. When we were ready, we would call out for the other one to pretend to be a vampire and break into our little nests. This one was good shit. I know it sounds lame, but it was fucking awesome.

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Both in the bathtub, slipping and sliding back and forth, water sloshing everywhere. We had another lame-o game (but still awesome!) that involved trying to avoid letting a washcloth or multiple washcloths touch us while we were in the tub.

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I remember when Blondie was a baby in a walker, and there was a tornado watch. My grandparents were over and we all sat in the kitchen while she rolled around, looking at us each in turn. This memory is the yellow colour of faded photographs, and one of my happiest snapshots.

Every other baby memory that doesn’t involve threatened cranial damage involves her thick, thick black hair and her endless baby screaming.

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Another memory: a tornado coming, Mom tucking us into a cardboard box in the basement, throwing a thick mattress on top of us. Endless other tornado times in the basement, Grandma’s afgans pulled over our faces in case glass broke.

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A morbid thing I always did…slowing down my actions, flipping my hair, laughing. Saying, ‘This is how you’ll remember me when I’m dead.’

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The mirror, the mirror, oh the mirror. Arching our backs randomly and just saying, ‘SAVE me, from the FIRE.’ Always done with a grimace.

Or the mean little song from a Muppet-type movie: Blondie, never really learned how to play…oh eee oh…she’s always been a stick in the mud. Blondie, now I’m gonna show you the way ….oh eee oh….why you wanna be a dud. She sang this to me as well. It was like the ultimate insult.

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Forehead pushes. We would face each other, bend over, and push our foreheads together as hard as possible while, yes, grimacing. This was satisfying to me in a weird ass way.

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We liked Full House. On one episode, Michelle said to DJ, ‘You’re smart, pretty, and cool and I want to be just like you.’ I always said this to her….’Because I’m smart, pretty, and cool and you want to be just like me?’ We laughed about this a lot.

When we grew up, she told me that yes, I was smart, pretty, and cool and she wanted to be just like me.

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My sister is a survivor. My sister tries to heal her wounds and is not sure how. My sister is an explorer, a poet, a smart businesswoman, a creative shape-changing she-girl who is always reinventing herself. My sister lives for the woods, for adrenaline, for new things. My sister longs for stability and romance and a perfect understanding of things.

She is beautiful, curious, brave, funny, quirky, hopeful.

Happy birthday to you,
happy birthday to you,
happy birthday, dear sister,
happy birthday to you.

I am glad you are the one that remembers our childhood with me.

I had five years without you in my life, and the first time I held you in my arms, I was stunned by happiness. I finally had my baby, my little sister, and I was gentle with you. Forgive me for the times I was not as gentle, but remember that there is always a five year old in me who is amazed, deeply, at how much I love you and how much you belong in my life.

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A wish-filled semi-blogroll?

January 26, 2010

I think people often use New Year’s resolutions in a wish-making way. Like, ‘I wish this was the year I would lose 30 pounds, get a new job, buy a house, etc etc.’ I don’t think wishes without action often give us much, not do I think actions without hope can be very inspired.

Regardless, if I had wishes for New Year’s? I would allocate some of them to other people.

I wish apieceofwood would get pregnant this year. She’s funny, she’s got a dirty sailor mouth, she’s friendly, she’s genuine. Her kid would have a lot of fun with her, I feel, despite the fact that I have not met her in real life. I don’t know much about her husband – okay, anything – but I’m assuming he is also awesome since she likes him. If you have spare time or wishes, go offer her support as she faces the dreaded needles of IVF yet again.

I also wish that Becky and Holly would get knocked up. They have been through a lot on their voyage to conceive, things I keep trying to write here and then erasing because it seems too private – despite the fact that it is in their blog. Becky’s tummy wants to get stretch marks and be kicked and have kisses from Holly, okay, universe? If you have some more spare time and like the lesbian families (which of course you do, dear readers, as you are reading about MY lesbolicious family) go say hi to these fun, adventurous, yearning moms-to-be.

There are a lot of hopes I have for people in this world, most of whom are faces I’ve only seen in pictures. Some, though, are people I love and hug and kiss. I wish that my dear friend Aussie will have a miraculously beautiful wedding, and oh, how I wish we could be there with her on her big day. I wish that I could have spent every day of my two weeks at home with Cookie, not because she’s oh-so-Jewish and brought us food every time we saw her, but because she is home to me. I wish that Compadre and C Dawg continue to laugh as much together this year as they did last year.

I wish my sister peace. Inner peace, understanding, some little pool of calm inside herself – even as she continues to explore the world, her world, and do all sorts of adventurous physical shit.

And of the other bloggers I could write seven thousand words about because I have read their millions of words? I wish I could meet and hang out with her (and I hope she loves her new house) and her (she already feels like someone I should be meeting for cake immediately!) – because twim moms need to stick together. I wish for the continued growth and beauty of this girl and that girl, and their gorgeous mothers. I wish that this woman regains control over her body. I wish for this girl to see how beautiful she is.

I think blogs can be little pieces of miracles. I went back the other day and reread our time trying to conceive with IVF (November 2008, kids), I read our pregnancy again. And through it all, I was like, ‘Don’t give up, little happy and hopeful women. This is going to work. Snort and Coconut are going to come.’ And that story was already written, already had the happy ending.

I have to believe the same is true for people I care about, even if their happy endings are not yet committed to paper.