Me and My Sister

24 Dec
Saturday Night Live (season 36)

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My sister was born when I was 11 years old.  Suddenly I went from being an only child for over a decade to being a big brother with a big age gap.  I wasn’t really jealous of her like you would expect though.  In some ways, I was like a 3rd parent.  Being that I was a pre-teen, I had to babysit a lot, with no compensation.  It was just my family duty.  My summers and nights were usually occupied with babysitting duties.  But I didn’t complain.  Even when my step-father was home, I still had to take care of my sister because he just laid on the couch all night, watching tv, eating chips, and drinking warm Pepsi.  That’s right, he couldn’t even be bothered to pour himself a new cold glass of Pepsi, so he would just keep the 2 liter bottle next to the couch.  And he would put the empty chip bag under the couch cushions, like he was a little kid.  Heaven forbid if I had to do homework, but I never really did much of that anyways.

Now, technically, my sister is my half-sister, because we have different fathers, but I never considered her anything less than my little sister.  It didn’t matter to me if we had different fathers.  I remember when my sister was little, she found out I had two dads and she cried that she wanted two dads too, so I said I would share my other father with her.  My step-father didn’t find the humor in that.
Despite the gap in age, my sister and I had a good relationship.  We would stay up late and watch Saturday Night Live, or Evening at the Improv (which back then was the only stand-up comedy show, on A & E, long before Comedy Central.)  Or we would watch opera or ballet, which my sister loved back then.  I used to take my sister to the movies, and we would take our dog on “the nature trail”  which was just a little trail in the woods near Mahar.
Of course, we didn’t always get along.  She loved to bite me, and to hit me with things such as hammers.  She didn’t like me to watch tv at the same time she was watching tv.  She didn’t like sharing the back seat of the car, and she would kick me.  She would steal from my room, and lie about me and say I hit her if she was mad at me.  Of course, my step-father spoiled her, and no matter who was at fault, I would always get grounded.
Now I wasn’t always nice to her either.  I knew she was sensitive to noises, and I would do things like dangle my keys in her ear.  And we would fight over the front seat, but come on.  When I was a teenager, how could I let a little girl take the front while I sit in the back?
When my sister was 11, I joined the Army, and left for 10 years.  I would see her once a year, but she never really forgave me for leaving.  For a long time she resented me for leaving.  When I moved back to Massachusetts, she harbored a lot of hostility towards me.  But in the past few years we’d grown close again, and after our mom’s recent death, we had become as close as we were when we were children.
But recently we’ve drifted again.  I guess it’s because we have our own lives in separate cities. And that’s alright.  Even if we’re doing our own things, she’ll always be my little sister, and I’ll always be there for her when she needs me, no matter what kind of little sibling squabbles we might have.  I love my sister very much.

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