Saturday, March 23

A Birthday and a Sister

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Sitting on the swing gently swaying back and forth it all seemed like a dream. Brushing my toes over the blades of grass below my feet I would try and stretch them to touch the ground. My little legs just not quite long enough. My little mind was just a buzz of activity trying to make sense of what I had just heard. Despite being so certain that it would happen the way it did, I still couldn't believe it was really real.

Just over a year earlier my mum had asked me what I might like for my upcoming birthday. I was about a week or two away from turning six at the time. While a new Barbie, or doll would have been nice, I had my heart set on something much bigger.

As much as I loved playing with my younger brother he just didn't quite cut the mustard when it came to helping dress my beloved dolls and rearranging the furniture in the Barbie mansion I had a acquired a few months earlier for Christmas. Likewise the thrill of backyard cricket, car racing and GI Joe explosions had a limited appeal to myself.

For the most part, my brother and I got along famously. With two and a bit years between us, we were able to most things together and love every minute of it. However when I wanted to plait hair or play dress ups he was more than a little reluctant. There was no doubt in my mind that a sister would solve all my problems.

Apparently though a week before your birthday is not enough lead up time for your mother to organise a baby sister as a present. While I thought this was a little disappointing I was understanding on the premise that there would be one sorted for next year.

My birthday came and went and I was overjoyed with the new additions to my Barbie clan. The thoughts my next birthday and a baby sister as a present were soon put to the deepest depths of my mind. After all there is a lot of other things to take in when you are only six.

In September I noticed that mum started to look just a little bit fatter than what she normally did. Turns out that the reason for this was because she was busy growing a little baby. Back then the whole checking of the sex was not really done. Not that it mattered. I knew that the baby growing was a girl. Just like I knew that she would be born on my birthday.

Day in and day out my mother, and everyone else I shared my excitement with, gently tried to tell me that there was no guarantee that the baby would be a girl. They would also try and convince me that it probably wouldn't be born on the required day. I refused to give heed to either notion. I would be getting a baby sister on my birthday and that as they saw was that.

'Babies are unpredictable and come when they want' they would try and tell me. Not that I would have a bar of mind you. The fact that the doctors predicted her to be born over a week earlier would also not sway my conviction. My heart of hearts just knew that I would get my baby sister for my seventh birthday and that's all there was to it.

The morning of my birthday finally arrived. They always seem to take forever, but this one seemed to take even longer. I guess that is just what happens when you are expecting the best present ever.

When I awoke to see that my mum was still just as fat as the day before and there was no little baby in her arms I was a bit disappointed. Actually I was a lot disappointed. When she explained that she would just have something to eat and then get Daddy to take her down to the hospital my disappointment quickly dissipated.

Once mum had eaten, dad had cut the grass and the two Debbies (Mum's besties) arrived to hold the fort, mum and dad went off to get that baby out of mum's tummy. It felt a little strange not having my parents at my birthday party but given they were getting my baby sister sorted I didn't mind so much.

By the time guests arrived and presents started flowing in I had totally forgotten what my parents were doing and had one of the best parties ever. There was a lovely sewing basket cake and plenty of fun and games. We had a rather flash swing and jungle gym activity thing in the front garden which always kept us amused for hours on end. Though I can recall an incident on the slide at this party that ended in tears...

As the guests started to leave I began to think of my mum and when she would return with my present. She given me a few things to open before she left but I was still waiting for the big one. Turns out I didn't have to wait too much longer. Shortly after the last guest arrived dad came home to take my brother and I to meet our new baby sister. 

Even now, the memory of that day is one of my strongest. Sitting there on that swing waiting to go and see my dream come true of a sister. Words can not explain the special bond and love that we have for each other. Even now.

Some twenty eight birthdays later I still love the fact that I share my special day with my special sister. In fact there have only been a handful of birthdays where we have not been together. They are absolutely awful. Though I am slowly getting better at dealing with them. With us both having families now and living at opposite ends of the country, it is just not going to be as feasible as it once was.

Happy birthday little sister, you will always be the best present I will ever receive.
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