I'm Glad I Didn't Ask for a Sister

“Kids come here there’s something your mom and I want to tell you,” my dad yelled down the hall as my brother, and I came running into the living room. We sat on the sofa facing our parents. They both had excited expressions on their faces and my mother was holding a tiny piece of paper.

“Your father and I want to tell you something,” my mother handed me the piece of paper she was holding. “Now, Casey, do you know what that is?” I stared at the black and white piece of paper; all I could see were fuzzy shapes. I started turning it over to see if I could figure it out from a different angle, but nothing worked. Finally my mom stopped me. “Honey, Mommy had that picture taken at the doctor’s office today. Pretty soon we’re going to have a new baby in the family. That’s their picture.”

The first thing that follows that declaration is always the same: “We still love you the same, but the new baby will need more attention once it’s born, so we won’t have as much time to spend with you.” That’s the second worst thing you can tell an eight year old girl right after, “Santa isn’t real”. I’d seen the kids in my class at school who had little brothers or sisters, all they did was complain about how much they cry, breaking their toys, and how much they wanted to be the youngest or the only child again. I asked my older brother what to expect since he’d already been through this once when I was born, and he said that as long as it was a boy he didn’t care how bad it acted. I wasn’t sure what I wanted.

Everywhere we went people would say, “I’ll bet you want a little sister,” and all I did was offer back a quick, “I don’t care what it is, as long as it’s healthy,” because I had heard one of my parents say that once, and it sounded pretty good so I stuck with it. I never did pick sides, I knew either way a baby would still need as much care from my parents whether it was a boy or a girl. Of course my parents took me and my brother with them when they had the ultrasound done to determine the gender of the baby. The doctor told us it wasn’t 100% correct, but that he was pretty sure we were going to have a baby boy. For the first time I was kind of excited about being a big sister, but I still wasn’t sure if I was ready. And then finally the day came.

Sunday, September 24, 2000, I was awakened around three in the morning by my dad who ushered me into my brother’s room, sat us on the bed and told us what was going on. “Your baby brother wanted to meet you two so badly that he couldn’t wait any longer. Hurry up and go get dressed and we’ll run up to the hospital,” and with that he went back down the hall to check on Mom.

A few minutes later we were all at the hospital checking in and calling relatives. My dad’s parents were first to arrive, followed shortly by my mother’s parents. My mom told her parents to take me and Patrick back home and get some sleep, and we were grateful for it. Around eight Memaw and Teddy woke us back up and took us to Burger King for some breakfast croissants. After we finished breakfast we went back to the hospital for some more sitting and waiting.

Lunchtime came and my mother gave Memaw a strange look and hissed, “Take Casey and Patrick to the cafeteria,” and then we quickly proceeded to do so. She took us to the cafeteria where we got some food. After lunch Memaw took us to the bathrooms to get cleaned up, and then we started on our way back to the room.
When we reached Mom’s hospital room, Teddy stopped us at the door and went in for a few minutes. I sat on a bench in the hall next to Patrick wondering what was the matter when we both heard crying coming from inside the room. We both shot off the bench and raced inside. There in Mom’s arms with Dad hovering close by was the baby. Dad situated us in a chair so we could take turns holding it. He walked over and gently placed him in my arms and whispered, “Casey, this is Connor. He’s your new baby brother.” In that moment I didn’t care that he would break my toys, pull my hair or steal my parents away from me. And not once since have I wished for a sister instead.





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pmcd9 said...
Dec. 3, 2009 at 11:37 pm
That is a very well written and touching story Casey. I'm so proud to have such an eloquent writer for a niece.
 
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