I am the little sister. I'm not the one who is supposed to be looking out for her. I'm not the one who should be living the city life, free and easy as I go. This is her paradise, her energetic eyes jumping here and there.
It wasn't supposed to be me.
She had her first baby at 18, and then two more followed.
But me, the little sister who wrote down the names of the ten children I wanted to have and pictured them all while daydreaming in my closet of the life I was going to have--I got to leave. I walked across the graduation stage, and straight to DC and my life exploded into something else.
I'm not hiding in my closet anymore, throwing a softball in the air, daydreaming, and getting quiet if anyone came in the room to listen for me.
My sister (step-sister, technically) brought up my older nieces and nephew up for Thanksgiving break. We did so much that I don't even know where to start--let's just say there was no museum or monument left unturned and untouched. We never, ever, ever stopped. The kids and I collapsed into our beds and air mattresses each night.
My sister has emotional issues, and veers and swings wildly from happy to sad to pissed to manically ecstatic. I've said it before and I'll say it again...how my nieces and nephew turned out to be such wonderful, balanced kids, I'll never know.
The kids had a blast. All 3 want to move here.
So does she.
She is awed of me, proud of me. She also looks at me with a bit of resentment under her gaze, a little bit of defensiveness. Pride.
It was never supposed to be me that didn't end up on the farm - yet...
She has no idea how long I've plowed this city ground to turn it into a fertile life. No idea of the struggles, no idea of the things unsaid and unmentioned. The tears and blood in your mouth and empty lonely feeling in your stomach when you realize that no one is going to ever rescue you but you. And I can't explain it -- there are some things that you can't tell someone who thinks you have a perfect life. They'll never believe you.
"After all, those were passionate times, when children were pioneers... on the road to find out, wherever that road might take them. When brothers and sisters, looking back... wished they'd known each other better." --The Wonder Years
Me and my niece Carlee; she is the one who will get away.