The Birthday Conundrum

It’s my sister’s birthday tomorrow, and I don’t know what to get her. I’ve known her my whole life, so I know the things she likes. I know the things she treasures. And I know what I want to get her on her birthday. The only problem is that since I’ve known her my whole … Continue reading The Birthday Conundrum

Chatting With Lexi: Big Sister

Yesterday Lexi, Maddie and I took a walk down to the park to meet one of Lexi’s friends for a play date. It was beautiful weather and she even wore shorts, but I was conservatively dressed in jeans and a t-shirt. Maddie decided she wanted to just wear sweat pants and a long-sleeved shirt, so I’m sure she was hot, but she never complained. Of course because it was Lexi’s play date she had to make sure she was little miss bossy when we ended up starting out late in order to get to the park.

Lexi: Daddy, how come we always have to wait for Maddie? It’s MY play date.

Me: Because there’s only one of me, and we can’t leave Maddie here by herself.

Lexi: What if she was asleep? Could we leave her alone then?

Me: [stunned silence]

Lexi: I’m just kidding. I know we can’t leave Maddie alone!

Me: Good, because I thought we were going to have to have a serious talk.

Lexi: More serious than this one?

Me: Definitely. She’s your little sister, and she has to go along on play dates like this one because I’m going along.

Lexi: I know. I went on one of her play dates before too.

Me: Do you get upset when Maddie has to come along?

Lexi: No. I just play with my friends anyway.

Me: You don’t try to include your sister?

Lexi: Well, she comes over and stuff, but she does her own thing.

Me: Maybe you should try to include your sister? After all, you know she loves to play with you. Continue reading “Chatting With Lexi: Big Sister”

Summer Memories

296153_269495529727793_2072100_nWhen we were kids my sister and I would have all kinds of fun during our summers. First off, they started earlier than the public school kids because we went to a private school that was always done the first week of June instead of near its end. That sometimes made for issues when we would go to the Gallery downtown and the guards would want to kick us out for skipping school. It was hard to get across that it was cool, that we were legal so chill out.

Then there was the library. Our nearest public library was down on Baltimore Avenue, which was about 12 blocks away from our street, with the building itself directly across the avenue, so it was fun trying to get over there during heavy traffic. With our mom working every day, though, we had to make the trek on our own once we got old enough to do so. I remember the graffiti on the building more than anything else. It stood out like a beacon, and it wasn’t until much later that I realized it was planned and organized graffiti. Well, most of it anyway.

I recall trips to Dutch Wonderland when we would pile into the old Chevy Nova and rattle our way down the turnpike to a place that in retrospect wasn’t much larger than the block we lived on. But it was like magic, seeing Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble, going on all those rides and getting to spend time with our dad. Those are the few memories we actually have with him before the divorce.

Then there were all the mishaps. I broke my wrist one year and my sister spent most of the time it was healing laughing at me. To top it off I got a blue cast that was incredibly difficult to sign with marker, so I didn’t even get to have it decorated like most others I saw. The time I busted my head falling down the stairs at Nana’s house ranks up there too, which also found my sister laughing at me. It seemed like that’s what she spent a lot of the summertime doing, but really it was only those two times, and the laughing was good-natured. At least I thought it was. Continue reading “Summer Memories”

Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection

This one’s a classic.

When I was young, I couldn’t stand my sister, Joy, for a multitude of reasons. First, she was older than me, so she felt like she could lord it over me from sunup till sundown. Secondly, she was outgoing so she made friends easily, which was something I was hard-pressed to do. In fact, my only real friend from birth until eighth grade was one boy who I thought felt sorry for me, or some of my sister’s friends who also seemed to feel bad for me.

Because she was older than me (by fifteen months), Joy was always in the grade ahead of mine, and because we went to a small school where each grade level was taught by one teacher, she would always get the same teachers right before I got there. And saying that Joy was good in school was a massive understatement. I lost count of all the times, on the first day of each school year, when the teacher would look at me, look at my last name on the sheet, and have this look on his/her face that said, “Oh, you’re HER brother!” Then, when I wasn’t as motivated as she was, they would shake their heads and make tsking sounds, like I had disappointed them. Continue reading “Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection”