Sunday, March 6, 2016

Big Sister Blues

This weekend, my dad and stepmom took a vacation out to Arizona.  Dad had to problem leaving my siblings alone for the weekend, mom disagreed, so here I am.  I wasn't sure what to expect.  I haven't spent significantly long periods of time with them since they were young enough for me to put them in a corner for time out.  Apart from the occasional vacation together, my time with them since they were young usually averaged around 3 days.  So these kids, now young adults, were slightly foreign to me, despite shared genetics.  I was entering into uncharted territory.

Here's some background information.  I'm ten years older than the eldest of the three.  Mark Jr is 16, and the twins, Anna and Michael, are 15.  I've always felt a disconnect, but seeing as how I'm a decade older than them, it isn't a mystery.  Plus that whole not-living-with-them thing too.

My brother Michael was already home from school when I arrived.  And by arrived, I mean punched random numbers into the garage key pad until it opened.  I knew the range, I just had to fudge about for a bit to get it since my key didn't fit the front door.  Probably the wrong key...  My sister Anna arrived next and bolted to hug me when she came through the door, forgetting that I was going to be here this weekend.  We immediately sat down and started talking.  I got to know her fears and dreams for the future.  We covered so many topics in such a short time.  Stuff that is incredibly difficult things to talk about but also knowledge about oneself that I'm not sure I was close to understanding at that age.  Later after Mark arrived home, Anna and I helped him work on his short story he had to write for school.  We offered suggestions, which he considered and reworked in some instances.  I eventually retired upstairs to watch the newest season of House of Cards and eventually went to sleep.

Saturday morning I was up bright eyed and bushy tailed, or more rather, tired eyed and coffee fueled.  Mark had a dermatology appointment which we arrived early for, sat, and waited 4 times longer than the actual appointment. Cause, you know, doctor's offices are like that.  Back home I indulged in a bubble bath for a while.  Post bath, all four of us sat and played Cards Against Humanity for over two hours.  I got to know their personalities.  What they find funny, which is sick and sarcastic and so totally the same as mine.  Leading me to be pretty certain that we get this from our father.  Thanks, dad.

Me and my sister Anna
We evaluated where we wanted to go for dinner and separated.  While the boys were playing video games, I asked my sister if I could do her make-up.  It's been ages since anyone has done my make-up for fun or played with my hair.  I couldn't resist.  I offered her tips (eye shadow can easily be used as eye liner) and talked about music (she liked almost everything from my mellow playlist.)  When we rallied for dinner, our first choice had an hour wait to be seated.  So we headed up the road to what happens to be one of my favorite places in the world, LA Cafe & Java.  It's the place I first had and enjoyed coffee.  I always get the blue corn chip nachos with mozzarella, mushrooms, onions, and broccoli (YUM.)  While waiting we started playing the movie game (I won,) followed by a word spelling game (I won again,) and we were still playing Would You Rather as we left the restaurant.

When we got home, we all sat down to watch the horror movie Would You Rather as I had mentioned it previously.  After that, we watched Unfriended, another horror flick I suggested.  Once the second horror film was done, we realized we needed some laughs so we watched funny videos for at least another hour.  Once we all retired, I helped Anna take off her make-up and gave her skin care suggestions.  Acne is a bitch.  She said, "Good night, I love you." Which I of course reciprocated.

And then I realized that it made me really sad.  I'm sad that I missed them growing up.  That I missed watching them turn into these amazing people and personalities.  I was always the big sister, but I wasn't around.  I wasn't the presence that their friends got to know when they came over to the house.  I didn't stay up late with them, giving them boy advice or tell them what high school is like.  I wasn't even there enough to be the big sister who was so "over it" and wants them to "get a life."

I know why my situation was the way it was.  And I will always be grateful to not have to endure divorce.  My parents were always amicable and supportive of each other.  They never fought in front of me, though I'm sure over 26 (almost 27) years they disagreed on things.  My dad still checked on my mom when we were in the hospital, even though I was on another floor and my stepmom went into labor on another.  I'm lucky given the situation of my surprise appearance, that neither parents bailed, especially dad.

But I missed out on the sister thing.  I'm only getting the chance now to be and experience what I always wanted.  And I know I could have done something before now.  But such is life.  I'm so happy to have this chance to get to know them.  I only wish it had been sooner.

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