As a child, I was extremely protective of my little sister. Still am, actually. And it’s our mom’s fault.
When they brought Leah home from the hospital, I was pretty jealous – what two year old wouldn’t be? Especially if that two year old was the first grandchild and had two aunts and four uncles to spoil her. Then comes the interloper. A wriggling, screaming interloper who also happened to be an attention hog. And cute!
Anyway, our mother’s brilliant idea was to GIVE Leah to me. “This is your baby. You’re the big sister, so she’ll always look up to you. You have to look out for her, protect her, teach her. She’s yours.”
I took her completely seriously, and from that moment, Leah has always been my baby. Even those few times I almost killed her. Like when I hung a swing from nails set into the house rafters and put Leah on said swing. Or that time I took her out of the house first thing in the morning to go swimming in the “pond” in the driveway. Or that time she fell off the sofa – I SWEAR she fell. I didn’t push her. Really! I think I still have the marks from the all spankings I got.
And I’ve always felt more than a little responsible for her. The time she fell off her bike and broke her arm, I was the one who cried. When the neighborhood bully was pushing her around, I was the one who bloddied his nose. When she decided to get married, I nearly lost my mind – no one could be good enough for my baby.
Leah has a birthday next week, and I’m not close enough to take her to lunch or wrangle her kids for a few hours or be protective and responsible in any way. But boy do I ever love her, and I’d still do almost anything for her.
Happy (early) Birthday Le!