It was a rather anticlimactic beginning for us, you could say. She was mostly unimpressed with the new baby and when prodded by our mother,
“Mindy, how do you like your new baby sister?”
she simply answered with a shrug and replied,
I supposed I should give her a break since she was only 4 years old at the time. It probably shouldn’t be held against her that she wasn’t unequivocally thrilled, moved to maternal instincts at the sight of a brand new, fresh out of the oven little sister. Especially one prone to colicky, loud crying bouts ;)
Those four years were always a little far for us. Whatever stage I was entering, she was leaving. We also had pretty opposite interests and dispositions as kids/teenagers/young adults. There was some bickering and fighting, but more so just a little lack of interest & friendship in each other. While she was being being the responsible first born, my mom’s right hand help, I was more likely stirring up trouble with my brothers. Even though I wouldn’t have admitted it at the time, I was pretty fascinated by her. How was she always SO good?! How did she always make her Halloween & Easter candy last longest?! What was it like in middle school? How did she get such nice grades in school? Did she like actually like school or something?! Where did she learn to sing & play the piano so well? Does she actually like practicing?! Yes, this is a real example of my stream of conscious when it came to Mindy. As well as: I wonder if she will notice if I steal some of her gum, I like her long hair, woah-big sis can draw! I hope I look that pretty when I go to prom one day, high school looks fun, wow-she can really sing, I want to be a lifeguard like Mindy, she actually likes Latin?! and so on and so forth.
Somebody I used to nanny for once asked me why I liked being part of a big family. A thousand answers ran through my head, but I finally decided that the best thing about all my siblings is the incredible potential for relationship & companionship. Even when I graduated high school, Mindy and I seemed worlds apart. We even joke about that birthday I gave her a card that read, ‘Even though we don’t see eye to eye…’ That gap narrowed when she had her babies. I was awed by her strength and simply adored her children. Then I got engaged and Mindy simply worked so hard and was so helpful - I think that is when we became more than sisters but friends,too. I’m just so thankful for her-so thankful for the gift of siblings and even if it takes 20 years to discover, amazed at how truly deep the bond of sisterhood is.
Mindy is truly a beautiful person. She is by nature helpful & hard-working, she is encouraging and always eager to learn new things. Even if we were not the best of friends when we were younger, I have so many special memories of her kindness to me growing up. She let me play and tag along with her & her friends, she used to let me crawl in her bed at night and she would tell me all about middle school. When she started babysitting the rest of our crazy crew she would always whip up these creative desserts..I specifically remember her peanut butter & sugar dessert. She wrote me a long, long loving and encouraging letter when I was going through a miserable time in middle school. She made me mix tapes (which were the ultimate gifts during the 90’s). She took me to a concert at the NorVa in her little tan Nova , let me teach her guests how to line dance and her wedding, and taught me how to take cure of curly hair. When I was getting married she all but let me interrupt her life as she helped with every single aspect. And she does not hold it against me that I was a grand whopping total of 0.0% help when she was getting married- I had a tendency to be a little self-absorbed in my college(ish) years.
Being pregnant together was the neatest experience. I remember being a little nervous to tell her since I knew she was hoping to be pregnant soon, too. She was happy for me and then I was crazy-ecstatic when I found out she was due just 6 weeks after me. Together we waded morning sickness, maternity clothes, natural childbirth classes and homebirth prep. After James’ arrival, I remember her quiet presence, simply encouraging and helping. I’ve had a crazy nursing rodeo ride thus far, sprinkled with some tongue-tie drama, food allergy inquires, fussy baby exhaustion and she is been here through the thick and thin. And bringing along a dairy-free dessert to boot.
Happy, Happy Happy Birthday Mindy. It has been a blessing to watch you do life. Whether you are singing, cooking, crafting, or mama-ing you just impress and inspire me all the time.