I was born in New Brunswick in late March, in the late fifties, to a couple of unprepared people. This resulted in parental reassignment for me as a tiny baby. Thankfully, my grandparents were willing and able to accept the responsibility of a helpless child. They had raised three sons, and now many years later, decided they would take on the challenge of a little girl. The older I become, it never ceases to amaze me. This was a totally selfless act on their part. I honestly can’t imagine doing this at my age.
However, (please don’t take this as a complaint, or my lack of gratitude), when you are part of a family with ‘grown’ children, essentially you are an only child and raised as such. Life in Mispec was certainly full with Sunday School, the beach and cousins, but when it was a holiday or family days, these were spent alone. Imagine getting up to see if Santa Claus came, only to sit and open your gifts alone. There were vacations with older parents – and no other children. No one to help you ‘fight your battles’ at school. Long days without a playmate.
It seems this has followed me as an adult. Having raised two girls – the example of sisters has been before me for thirty years. Playmates, room mates, school mates, soccer mates….always a partner in crime. If you need to talk and share with someone who knows you the very, very best – guess what? There’s no one like a sister.
I have many friends. Dear friends. no matter what – the bond I see between sisters is a special, undeniable bond. Common history. Context. I remember as a young girl that I asked my mom for a sister a few times. She would simply tell me to find something to do (smiling here at this memory). Impossible – but mom didn’t want to burst my expectant bubble. To this very day, I long for this relationship at times. I know it seems laughable, but aging yields longing for special relationships for different reasons. So this year as ‘late March’ is approaching, I announced to My Beloved that I want a sister for my birthday. I know – impossible, but I can dream can’t I? A sister for coffee dates, telephone calls and hugs would be the most special thing in my mind.
So a word to those of you out there who have sisters – appreciate them. Apologize to them. Love them. Spend time with them. Not everyone has this privilege.
So my birthday wish list will not be requited, but I can always dream and take joy in my daughters who are continuing to enjoy what they have with each other.