Tuesday, January 13, 2009
The One Dad Called Sugar
Meg was my first sister. She showed up when I was five years old. I woke up one cold, snowy Sunday morning to find Grandmother in the living room with my four brothers. She told me that Mom had gone to the hospital to have her baby and Dad went with her. I was hoping they would come back with a baby sister for me.
We had early church that day so we got dressed and Ric did my hair. He made a valiant attempt--he was 10 years old and had never wielded a brush to do a little girl's hair before--and I at least went to church with my hair combed. I had never gone out the door without a ribbon, a bow, a ponytail or curls and this new look of my hair parted in the middle and brushed straight down was new and a bit bothersome. I was mostly afraid that it made me ugly.
Granddad took us to church and afterwards we went to home with him where we met up with Dad. Dad told us we had a new sibling but didn't want to tell us if the baby was a boy or girl until Mom was on the phone and could tell us herself. So, we crowded into the breakfast room at Grandmother's house and Dad called Mom at the hospital. After he reached her, he had to prolong the suspense a bit more by asking each one of us: "Do you want a boy or a girl?" Ric (10) said a girl, Rus (8) said a girl, Adam (6) said a girl too, and, of course, I shouted that I wanted a girl. Even Matt, who was 3 1/2 years old said he wanted a girl too. Once we cast our votes, Dad said "It's a girl!" and we started jumping up and down and yelling with excitement. A girl! A baby sister! A little wee one who wears pink! We had the baby girl we all wanted to join our family.
That is most of us wanted. Matt didn't join our excitement. He didn't jump up and down or shout his joy. He just stood there silently. When Dad asked him what was wrong, he said, "Shucks, I wanted a boy." Turns out little Matt assumed that babies came equipped with motor skills like he had and Matt had to do one daily job with his motor skills: feed the dog. Matt was hunting a replacement and figured a boy would fit the bill perfectly.
Meg has since won him over to her side.
She tends to do that with people. Win them over to her side. She does it quietly and with a smile but she does it.
She certainly won me over from that day in Grandmother's breakfast room when I first heard I had a sister. I couldn't have asked for a better one.
Lots of love today, Blondie, Jamie Jr., Princess and Sugar. You deserve every last drop of it.