Random thoughts on sisterhood (with a brief digression)

This morning I awoke to the headlines in the local news and for once the NYC public schools made it into our Deep South paper. Apparently the NYC public school system has decided to begin offering the morning after pill to any student without parental consent (although parents can opt their children out of it) because the promiscuity of students there is so rampant that about 7000 students under 17 have had unwanted pregnancies and/or abortions. In addition to this, they already pass out free rubber “protection aids.” Can we say “vicious circle”? As Doris Day put it in Pillow Talk, “It’s like sending a marshmallow to put out a bonfire!” And just as I had finished banging my head on my desk (figuratively) at the utter nonsense of it all, the next headline was about my own city, where an HIV awareness group decided to turn us into some sort of Olympic Village by passing out free boxes of those rubber protection aids to the tune of 60,000. Which, given the known failure rate of those things to completely prevent any and all forms of illness, also seems like the marshmallow to bonfire routine again.

So all in all the news, which including the recurrent unrest in the Middle East and the fact that Princess’ godfather is serving in Afghanistan at the moment, was about enough to turn the day into a downright Boromir day. I’ve used that term before. Reference to The Fellowship of the Ring, where Boromir is lamenting to Aragorn that “it is long since we had any hope.”

But then came the Great News, the News We have been Waiting For. First in a text message and then in an actual call….

M. C. born today 2:34am.

Our newest niece!! My sister and her husband welcomed their second daughter into this wild and crazy world this morning, and suddenly that world was made that much better for it. Because not everyone is as geeky as my husband and I are, and don’t bring along gadgetry enabling them to wirelessly send out newborn pictures to all and sundry within ten minutes of baby’s first bath, I had to wait until the afternoon to see the ear-to-ear grins on the faces of my sister, brother-in-law, and bigger niece as they gathered round the pink-hatted newcomer. It was well worth the wait, but alas, I’m going to have to wait and let them decide to share pictures first before posting here. 🙂

It’s fun to think that my sister now has two girls of her own, since it was just the two of us growing up together and we have a gazillion sisterly memories shared between us, and can relate to each other more and more as life goes on. It’s fun to think that L. will now have a sister to share life’s experiences with. I remember being elated when I found out that Princess was going to have a sister, for she is definitely of a personality which in God’s inestimable Providence He deigned to keep from being the youngest of the family. To be the youngest and the only girl would have been a nightmare. She would have been so ludicrously spoiled (instead of only moderately, but I digress). When I see my girls run around the house–and Sunshine is literally less than an inch shorter than Princess–it’s like looking at what my sister and I must have been like. One dark, one fair, both running around together, one bossing the other, you know what I mean. But especially when they decide that the next ten minutes’ entertainment is to run around the house with an arm around each other… I just stop and watch with a smile. It’s so cute. Their innocent laughter and the smiles on their faces. Nothing beats it.

And today seeing the pictures of my nieces, one dark, one fair. One definitely going to boss the other around. Hearing that L. wanted nothing more than to hold her sister and love her to bits. Nothing beats it. I’m so glad that L. gets the chance to have a sister.

For looking at my girls and looking at that picture, again it was like seeing my little self in a mirror with my little sister, and realizing all the more what that sisterhood has meant to me over the years. I’m the dark one, she’s the fair one. She’s the one that bossed me. (HA!) It took fourteen years for me to hug her willingly after she persisted as a youngster in tickling me under the arms whenever I’d try and give her a hug–like when I was leaving for preschool or something–that I was honestly in high school before she could convince me that she could hug me good-bye without tickling me before I went to work at a Catholic camp for a few weeks. And then those letters she wrote to me while I was in college that never failed to keep me laughing–I saved a lot of them. The college break where I kept her awake until the wee hours reading aloud the FOTR chapter The Bridge of Khazad-dum and her demoniac cat walked in and went berserk as I was reading (we think he thought he was a Balrog). The wedding planning for the both of us. The Christmas memories, the random family game night memories, the long-drive memories (remember Kiddo when you decided to make goofy faces at EVERY car that passed us on US 52 from St. Boniface to home?!?!), the really random shopping memories (“No, don’t get that skirt. It makes your legs look like Mel Gibson’s in a kilt.”), oh yeah, that’s the fun of sisterhood. But underneath it all is the bond and the love that means so much more than one can really express.

I’m glad I have it with you, Kiddo.

I’m glad my girls will have it with each other.

And I’m very glad you have two girls of your own now to experience it.


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