Today is my sister's birthday. I should know. Twenty-eight years ago today, I spent the wee morning hours in the ER waiting room, puking my guts out. (At this point, it strikes me that if I truly desire to someday be a writer I should probably come up with a better phrase than "puking my guts out.")
Anyway, in honor of Sister Bone--as she is known in blogging circles--I proudly present this edition of Sibling Memories. It's sorta like home videos for the blog. Enjoy, and thanks again for having internet.
One of the first memories that comes to mind is the Telecommunications Treaty of 1987. This was where my Dad, in a sudden burst of King-Solomon-esque cut-the-baby-in-half wisdom, ruled that on odd numbered days my sister would get to watch what she wanted on TV. And on even numbered days, I could watch what I wanted.
In time, I realized that in months having thirty-one days, Sister Bone would get control over the TV on back-to-back days (I never watched so much Full House in my life), making this treaty completely unfair. Still, it remained binding under the reign of Dad The First and was quite inconvenient, at least until I starting driving and working and wasn't home as much.
Zoom forward to the Fourth of July, 1989. I was going to pick up my uncle and aunt who didn't have a car and bring them back to our house for the holiday festivities. Sister Bone and two of my younger cousins were in the car with me so that I could show off my new driving abilities.
Soon after I put the car in reverse, we felt a jolt and heard the sound of crunching metal. I had backed into Mom's car. Terrified, I cautioned everyone in the car not to say anything until I figured out what to do. You know, because as long as no one told her, Mom surely wouldn't notice the huge dent in her driver's side door for weeks. Before I even got the words out of my mouth, Sister Bone was out of the car and running inside to tell on me.
Needless to say, no one was happier than me when Sister Bone's tattling phase finally ended, also known as the day she turned twenty-two. I really did enjoy having a sibling, though. So much so that I distinctly remember several times after Sister Bone was born begging Mom and Dad to have me a baby brother.
All along the way, we engaged in high-level psychological warfare. One of my favorites was when Dad would tell us we were not to touch each other. I would put my hands ever so close to Sister Bone's face and taunt her repeatedly with the words, "I'm not touching you. I'm not touching you." (You may have heard other kids using this, but I assure you I invented it.)
In turn, she would whine to Dad, "He's looking at me." And then I would be told that I was not to look at her. Thinking back sometimes, I'm amazed Dad The First didn't abdicate the throne.
Of course, times weren't always so good. There was the day I was playing a pickup football game and ran head first into the goalpost. I had a slight concussion and had to stay overnight in the hospital. A few weeks later, I found a letter Sister Bone--probably fourteen at the time--had written to me in a spiral notebook. All about how she missed me and was worried about me. I know, how mushy, right?
Sometimes I don't think a brother realizes what he means to his sister. And probably vice versa.
Happy birthday, sis. This concludes year twenty-eight of the Great Sibling Experiment of 1980. If Sister Bone read that line, she would probably say something like, "You're so weird." To which I would promptly reply, "I know you are but what am I."
"Or maybe head up north, to Knoxville, Tennessee. I know my baby sister has got a couch where I can sleep..."