Little Girls That Never Grow Up

July 23, 2009
By
Even though she was born that year, my own knowledge of why our family was different then anyone else's started in sixth grade, she was six years old then. Before that, the first two years of her life were happy. Then, I had only been vaguely aware of the fact that she wasn't advancing the way she should have been- I was only in kindergarten myself. I had more important things to worry about- things that mainly involved me. As she grew older I was more aware of her condition. That original wall of ignorance that most children carry around with them until they are ten or so years old (in the cases of some girls in my class, much longer) wore off when I was about seven. That ignorance was the universal belief of children that they are the most important thing in their loved one's lives.
I had an older sister too, and what a drama queen, she was no help in sheltering me from the storm I would eventually face. I grew up in this storm, I never had a chance to have before and after memories like her, and I think she forgot this in her own pain. This life was all I knew because that was what it was. I never grew up remembering what it was like not to worry about leaving the fridge unlocked. I somehow missed the normal memories of going to the park, playing tennis, or going to Disneyland without the extra appendage of my younger, mentally retarded sister. She was my life, still is, and I love her so much I sometimes have nightmares about her wandering off and getting swiped away by traffic because she was unaware of the danger. I would wake up sobbing.

Growing up in this storm, I adapted and calmed myself my thinking that one day she will wake up, barge into my room and start jabbering up a storm. I also have those dreams, and I still wake up crying, because I know that will never come true. My wishful thinking wore off long ago, and it only comes back to slap me in the face.

But growing up, it seemed normal to me. Not normal enough, but I could handle it, keep it under raps, and it was passe. It was something you just had to deal with, like a stubbed toe or a broken bone-except one that would never heal. And I dealt with this mostly in the same way until around sixth grade when I first really cried about my sister, not because she will never be a normal kid, but because she will not grow up to be a normal adult. I started thinking about her future- or therefore lack of. And it hurts, that reasoning. It hits me everyday and I go to bed thinking about it. I would do anything for her, I would trade brains with her if she could just go to school with the regular kids and have regular problems, and go to college and marry someone she loves and have kids and live to a grand old age. It makes me feel so guilty that I can do all this and she can't, and how I don't even appreciate it. It makes me feel depressed because others of my generation don't appreciate this precious gift. And it hurts that I could have been one of those completely oblivious jerks that waste there lives. And it makes me sad that they don't get it.

But I don't sit around all day thinking about all the what if's and get all sad and goopy about it. I carry about my day like any other teen. Except when I get home, everything changes, and the world flips upside down. And it feels like the world is spinning around this little girl who will never overcome that wall of childhood innocence. She will always think she is the main reason that we live, and that we are meant to do her every deed. She is weepy, fitful, and hits and bites like a maniac. And she makes my mom so tired that it's like all the motherly love as seeped into this little girl, and there is none left for us. But I still love her, and she is still my life, and I couldn't go a day without her. But this doesn't make up the fact that we have to plan a trip to the library like we are trying to penetrate Fort Knox. But thats my life, its all I have, and I guess I will just have to live it to the fullest for my favorite little girl.





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