Thursday, January 10, 2013

Sweet 16

I remember finding out my mom was pregnant. I was almost 13ish, my sister was 11,my brother 10. She came home from a doctor's appointment or test and looked quite upset. She grabbed the phone and went in the bathroom, so we wouldn't hear, to call my aunt. I knew something was up, and the bathroom has 2 doors, one from the main hallway and the other connects in her bedroom, being the nosy kid I was, I sat in her bedroom and listened. I didn't overtly hear, but from what I did hear, I suspected. I think I was mostly in denial too.

When they told us a few days later, my sister and I were mad. We had been sharing a bedroom our whole lives and they had just started talking about building another room in the basement and now that wouldn't happen. I remember saying, you are trying to ruin our lives, aren't you? And Now I'm NEVER going to get my own room!

Our next door neighbor was about my mom's age and had a baby not long before my mom found out she was pregnant. My sister and I were in love with that baby and begged and pleaded with my mom to have another baby. He was so cute, blah blah blah.  My mom said NO, and as we kept begging, ended up telling us all of the reasons why it would be horrible for us if she had a baby. We stopped wanting a baby sibling after that. Little did we all know, we were going to get our wish anyway.

The winter Nick was born was a really snowy year. My mom had a lot of false labor and went in to the hospital two or three times only to be sent home. She managed to talk the doctor into inducing her finally. I remember being excited about the baby coming and also excited that they trusted us (me!) to be home alone (our neighbors and family knew and were probably checking on us). I remember talking to my dad on the phone shortly before Nick came and he said we didn't have to go to school the next day and that he would come and bring us to the hospital to meet the baby the next day. I was really excited to get the day off school, but then more stupid snow came and we had a snow day off anyway. Still, it was exciting.

It was a different dynamic, being a teenager and having a baby sibling. We were more than just siblings. We weren't really parents either but we did a lot of parenting stuff (diapers, putting him in the car seat, making bottles, etc.) just because of our ages and because we liked doing it. Nick slept in our room with my sister for almost a year as a toddler. She actually encouraged it and would go up and get him and ask if he wanted to sleep with her. We babysat him a lot. When I got home from school and didn't work or have practice, I would sometimes pick him up early from daycare. We would play this game where I made him give me directions to get home and would sometimes purposely "get lost" in our neighborhood which he thought was hilarious. He was carted around to all of our baseball/softball practices and games, but I think he mostly liked it and all of the attention he got and all of the different playgrounds. I hated it when we were out somewhere and my mom would walk off and leave me with him, not because he would be bad, but because people would give me dirty looks and assume he was my kid. Nick was just little when my mom tried to teach me to drive in a piece of crap '85 Corolla stick the high school parking lot. I never did get the hang of it, my mom isn't a great driver (lol-understatement), and I don't think could drive a stick shift herself that was a disaster. But I do remember poor Nick in the back seat as the car jerked around and my mom and I screamed at each other. He asked if we were going to die.

The hardest part about leaving for college, and shortly after that, moving overseas with Joe, was leaving Nick behind. He started kindergarten that year and would send me pictures with awkward kindergartener handwriting saying he loved me. I still have them. I hung them up on our walls in our den in the Azores to feel a little less homesick. When we moved back, he would come over and spend the night with us just for the heck of it, a lot, which we loved. Now when he comes over it's to help Joe do heavy stuff like mounting tvs on the walls and moving furniture.

Today this kid is 16. He plays football and has a girlfriend (always!) He is funny and a great uncle. It has been awesome (and sad) to watch him grow up. He was a great 'practice baby' before we had our own babies. Hopefully we didn't scar him too much!


Melissa said...

Such a beautiful post! Oh it made me teary.

Brooke said...

Oh, sweet. I think Luke looks so much like Joe's baby pictures, but then I see your brother in him, too! Love that you had a "practice baby."

Kim said...

Aww how sweet!

Post a Comment