When I was younger, I loved dolls. I loved getting to dress them up, do their hair, and have tea parties with them. I loved being able to pretend that I was actually dressing a real person up for their first day of school or that I was actually having a conversation with them that wasn’t one sided. Therefore, it was not completely crazy of me to want a younger sister more than anything in the world.
I remember as a little girl asking my mom if we could buy a little sister, one that I could play with. A sister that no matter what would always be my friend. Then when I was nine, I got my wish. Except, we did not have to buy a sister, my mom was having another baby!
I still remember sitting in the car with my two older brothers when my parents told us. We were all so incredibly excited to hear the news! All of us except my brother Mitchell, that is. As Jake and I exclaimed excitedly about the upcoming news, Mitchell sat in silence staring out the window, his face stone cold. “What’s the matter Mitchell?” my parents asked, noticing he was not reacting as they had expected.
“Where is it going to sleep?” He sneered, not letting his eyes leave the windowsill.
“Um, well we haven’t thought that far yet, if you don’t want to give up your room, Mitchell, you don’t have to.” They explained.
I immediately perked up saying, “It can have my room if you want! As long as I get to redecorate my new room with pretty lights!” I could almost feel my brother’s tension release. He looked at me and smiled, his way of saying thank you.
At this point, we were not sure yet whether my mom was having a boy or a girl. However, my brothers and I were too excited to wait to pick out all of the new baby accessories. We set out going to all of the baby stores with my mom, Carters, ToysRus, and Once Upon a Child. Since we didn’t know the sex of the baby yet all of the stuff we bought had to be gender neutral. This was especially hard for me, all I had ever wanted was a little sister and I had too much fun entertaining the idea of dressing her up in pink dresses with satin bows. Nevertheless, I had to wait to find out whether it was a boy or a girl. The wait to find out was very hard for me, but to distract myself I decided to pick out baby names with my mom.
The name game, as we called it, became my favorite pastime. My mom had a book full of every name imaginable, for boys and girls. We would flip through, dog-earring pages with potential names. After we had dog-eared almost every page in the book, we would go through and eliminate names that wouldn’t sound good with Kastanek. Eventually, we decided on either Bentley or Cooper if it was a boy, and Violet, Sabrina, or Camille if it was a girl. After a lot of discussion with what seemed like hundreds of people, we narrowed it down to either Bentley or Camille.
By this time, my mom was about 20 weeks or so along. I was so excited because soon we were going to find out if it was going to be a girl or boy. Eventually, the day came and my family packed into the car like sardines. When we got to the hospital, I was so incredibly nervous, I really wanted to have a little sister, although I kept telling myself that I would be perfectly happy with a little brother.
As we stepped into the dim lit room I took a deep breath of hospital air. There was a large machine that was attached to a chair and a computer too. My family of five (and a half) packed into the room along with the doctor. My mom sat down on the big chair as the doctor washed his hands and put on his gloves. By then I was so nervous I was completely motionless. What felt like hours passed and the doctor was finally all set up. I looked up at my dad, who had his fingers crossed, and back at the doctor as he said, “It’s a girl!”
Immediately my whole family turned to look at me, I was speechless. I think that it almost seem surreal, I had wanted a sister my whole life and finally it was happening!
The rest of the day was a blur but I do remember going out to eat with my family to celebrate. I didn’t talk much at dinner, but only because I knew if I started to talk I would never stop.
The next few months went by so slowly, I just wanted it to be June 9th already. Finally, the day came. We had just gotten out of school the day before, my brothers and I were to spend the day with my grandpa while my mom, dad and grandma were at the hospital. I know that I wasn’t sure what was really happening, I’m not sure if my brothers did or not. We spent the entire day with my Grandpa, he had an entire list of jobs for us to do. We loaded wood, crushed cans, weeded their garden, and set up and entire gazebo.
Eventually, the day was almost over and my brothers and I decided to visit my mom and dad in the hospital. We got to my mom’s room and walked in to find my mom, dad, and grandma awaiting our arrival. We all hugged my mom, maneuvering our way around the wires and tubes that were hooked up to her. She seemed tired to me, almost as if she was ready for the wait to be over, but at the same time seemed alive with excitement. I was so excited with anticipation that I couldn’t stop talking.
After what seemed like seconds, my grandma told us that we should go home and get some sleep, she told us that the baby would not be born tonight. We all meandered out of the hospital and into the car, where my grandpa drove us back to our house.
When we got back to our house, my brothers decided that they wanted to watch television, so they turned on their show. One thing that I was hoping to gain from getting a little sister was better control of the remote. We all sat down on the couch and watched Phineas and Ferb, a classic boy’s show in my opinion. Just as we were all sitting down, the phone rang. I immediately sprung up and dashed to the phone. My heart was beating about twenty times faster than normal. I answered the phone and heard my grandma’s voice on the other end saying, “Laura Gayle, come on down to the hospital. You’re a big sister now!”
I was so excited I don’t remember screaming but apparently I did, I’m pretty sure that my brain was so overcome with emotions that it just shut off. Next thing I knew my grandpa was driving us to the hospital and we were walking through the doors to my mom’s room.
As I walked into the room there seemed to an energy, it’s hard to explain but it almost seemed magical. Then I spotted her. My little sister was lying there in the hospital bed next to my mom. She seemed so frail compared to me, I saw her beautiful golden blond hair, and she had a full head of it. For so long I had been holding in all of my emotions so that when I saw her, all seven pounds of her, I was brought to tears. They were tears of joy, of course, but I couldn’t believe that God had blessed me with this little girl to be my sister.
At that moment, I realized that I didn’t know her middle name. I turned to my mom; she must’ve been able to read my mind. She took one look at me and said, “Camille. Camille Grace, because it is by the Grace of God that we have been blessed by her.” I turned back to my sister, Camille Grace fit her perfectly.
Since that day, I have been able to witness Camille grow up and explore the world. Already as a six year old she manages to impress me with her wisdom and personality. Camille is spunky, sweet, sassy, and loving all at the same time. I have been so lucky to be able to call her my sister, she has changed the way that I view life.
Although she’s only six, Camille holds herself with poise, courage, and above all else, with Grace.