A few short hours ago, a friend texted me about the upcoming horror movie, It, which is coming to American theaters next month. For those of you who read my previous post about my first short story, you might remember that I used to call my sister It (while she was in the womb, okay!).
Therefore, I thought I would share my sister’s awesome birth story. Okay, maybe not the gritty birth process, because I wasn’t there (thank goodness) to see the doctors slice my mom open and remove a healthy little girl named Genevieve.
So, anyway, before I go on a tangent, I would like to preface this story by saying that I love my sister more than anything, and I am so glad she is on this planet. Therefore, this story is personal, but I love sharing it, because it means so much to me. 😉
STEP 1: PRAYER
On a strange December day in North Carolina, I was born, and my welcome to the world was not a smooth one. My mom was in a lot of pain, obviously, but I did tear her a bit when my big head came out, and my mom was like, “I am not going through that again.”
Therefore, I went through most of my childhood a happy single, spoiled kid. Both parents worked pretty hard, and by the time I was five, my mom gave up her career to stay with me full-time. I don’t remember ever asking for a sibling, because I loved life. Life was good. I had a pet fish, a great batch of school friends (the band people referenced in my short story post), and a healthy appetite for creativity. Friends had siblings, and from what I saw, brothers were gross, and sisters could be annoying.
My dad wanted another kid (can’t blame him for that!). Mom wasn’t so sure. After all, she had been the one to experience the worst trauma of her life to deliver me. I remember Mom talking about law school instead, as she would be the greatest lawyer of all time, but things had a different way of working out.
Our subdivision at the time was one of the classic, traditional neighborhood setups. It was pretty clean, teenagers were loud and obnoxious, and kids played with each other with no fear of predators lurking around. It was a great environment for me.
One early morning while I was at school, Mom went on a walk around the sub, her mind focused on praying, “God, am I supposed to go law school?” It would be a risky commitment to have a young child, husband, and full-time school schedule, but she was up to the task.
Then, suddenly, as she turned a corner, she saw something strange on the ground…
STEP 2: DIAPER
…and it happened to be a DIAPER.
A literal diaper. A baby’s white, clean diaper. (Why would someone leave a clean diaper on the side of the road, I will never understand. Diapers are expensive!)
It wasn’t a gavel on the side of the road, or a briefcase, or some legal paperwork. It was a diaper.
If that didn’t make it clear enough, I’m not sure what else there would have been to convince my mom to try for another baby.
Needless to say, Mom wasn’t going to law school.
STEP 3: THE PREGNANCY TEST
A few months later, on a cheery Saturday morning, I hopped down the stairs and found my mom with a positive pregnancy stick. We both stared at it for a second, and even though I was seven, I knew exactly what it meant. That I was about to be given one of the best blessings of all time.
I remember jumping and screaming and excitement and hugs and so much happiness.
I remember my dad walking in, finding out he was going to be a father again, and hugging us so tightly, with that little baby in Mom’s stomach.
I remember that day, all these years ago, because it meant that I was going to have a little brother or sister to boss around, and I was stoked.
STEP 4: “IT” GETS ITS NAME
This was around the same time I began to write, so I was in my creative zone. I liked telling the baby bump stories, poking it (lol), and saying, “You’re going to be my little sister!”
But I wasn’t 100% for sure the baby would be my sister. For sake of clarity, the baby needed a nickname, because I was sick of not knowing what to call it. Therefore, It. The most creative nickname of all time, straight from The Addams Family, where I had been spooked by Cousin It.
“It!” I would scream at the pregnancy belly. I would share stories about school with It, I would pray over It, and I would ask It if she would be a girl for me.
Weird, I know.
I was actually pretty sad when It got a real name.
STEP 5: HE OR SHE?
Though I wasn’t 100% sure if It was a girl, I was pretty sure. I didn’t worry about having a brother, because I didn’t really think about it. If I had a sister, I’d be able to tell her all my tips, braid her hair (which she still doesn’t let me do!), and tackle her to the ground (I could do the same to a bro, I know). So while Mom had the boy names lined up just in case, I felt that there was no need to consider buying blue baby clothes.
It was a windy day, probably in the early winter, and I emerged from my public school with a big glop of other snotty-nosed children. I ran over to my parents, knowing that this was the gender reveal day.
“Well, what is It?” What a rude question to ask.
They couldn’t hide their smiles. They knew I wasn’t not partial. I wanted a sister.
“Well, It’s a she,” they said.
And I smiled. “It’s a girl. Just like I asked her to be.”
STEP 6: THE DAY OF THE BIRTH
My parents made me go to school while they headed to the hospital for the early morning Caesarian. Of course I was not happy, as I wanted to be there, not necessarily when all the guts came out (LOL), but, “I am the sister! Shouldn’t I be there? I was the one who knew she’d be a girl!”
None of my arguments worked.
I went to school, wearing a t-shirt that Mom had specially made that said GEN’S BIG SISTER in emerald stitching. I was so proud. Other people were like, “You know it’s no big deal, right?” And I would grit my teeth and say, “Whatever.” (There was also a time I got into an argument with my teacher over when a baby is considered a member of the family. That should be saved for another blog post! Seriously, you tell a second-grader that her baby sister in the womb is not part of her family yet?!)
Anyway, my dad visited me at lunch, along with my grandparents.
“She’s beautiful,” they said, their eyes all agleam.
“And when can I see her?” I said, bitterly, mad that I was still at school. (Couldn’t they have at least checked me out?)
I held her a few days later. She was cuddly, warm, and not too shabby. She fell asleep as I rocked her, and she didn’t scream at me, like she’s prone to doing now. I think that because I did spend time with her as a pregnant belly, our connection was stronger as a result.
It had been a long process, from that diaper in the street to the little bundle of joy in my arms, but it wasn’t too long before the little baby grew into a teething toddler, a young drama queen, the sweetest, happiest kid, and a welcoming, stubborn pre-teen.
What can I say? My sister and I have come a long way. Gone are the days of calling her “It,” though we still bring it up jokingly. Really, we have become more sophisticated in our nickname tactics. For example, “Roach” is a new favorite.
I am so thankful to have a sister. I honestly feel so blessed, because people are put in your life for a reason! And while she’s not perfect, and neither am I, I can attest to the fact that having a sibling made me much more appreciative of living life to the fullest!