Picture it: me, age 5. Being offered something brown and squishy from my dear older sister.
“It’s chocolate, Krista, I swear! You should try it, it’s soooooo good.”
I’d like to think I ran away screaming because the toilet paper gave it away. I actually can’t recall. Maybe it was so terrible that I blocked it out.
I think I’ll skip reliving that moment in therapy.
Me, coughing hysterically, realizing I was suffocating in my sleep. I was not sick. I was not wrapped up in my sheets. No. Instead, there was my diabolical sister plugging my nose and holding my mouth shut simultaneously, trying to get me to stop snoring. Not a recommended technique by the way. Give a breathe-right strip a try. It’s much less psycho!
“Krista, just pretend that we don’t know each other. Walk on the other side of the street. Don’t sit anywhere near me on the bus.”
So began each day of sixth grade. The sixth grade social pariah to the über cool eighth grader. Sometimes I would run up and hold her hand, just to piss her off.
Ah, and here we are: the self-esteem shattering world of Junior High. I found out she had a boyfriend! Such a milestone, how could I not share the excitement with my parents. My lack of ability to keep a secret was soon discovered. Little did I know that such an offense was punishable by death. Or at least heavy bleeding. I ended up in the bathroom (the only room with a lock on the door), while she taunted me with a butcher knife – swiping it underneath that seemingly giant gap under the door. I stood on the toilet for what seemed like hours. In this memory I’m not scared. Rather, I am a 12-year-old Dr. Evil. Petting my hairless cat. mmm ooo waa hahahah (evil laugh). Why? Because I had succeeded in pissing her off again, and it was such fun! Oh, and she may have made me a little bit loony after that psychotic break.
HER punishment? Catholic boarding school. Ouch. I think the heavy bleeding may have been better.
Why do I like this person? She sounds a bit like a serial killer in the making doesn’t she? Well, somewhere along the way, we started to enjoy each other’s company (and she found cleaning as a source of anger management). In college she became my beer source (which was my own non-healthy form of anger management). She started using her OCD for good and washing my car. She stopped trying to suffocate me (unless we were forced into sharing a bed on a family vacation). I, in turn, got very drunk and told her new boyfriend off in a men’s bathroom. Did I mention that she’s older? It took me a bit longer to mature.
Now she is a part of my happy bubble. She has given me advice when my child’s been sick. She has listened to me rant relentlessly as I struggle with my still-new-feeling identity as a mom. She is like the greatest bra. That’s it! She’s my bubble bra!! She is supportive, and comfy, and she doesn’t even poke me with underwires!!
What I like most about having a sister is that she makes me laugh. We can spend time together telling stories or watching stimulating movies (with Will Farrell) and just laugh. Now we even text banana statements to one another. I feel a bit guilty as a parent that my daughter will never have someone like this. A bubble bra who she can laugh so hard with that she accidentally shoots a bit of snot from her nose. A sibling who can relate to just how crazy her mom (me) is. A friend who will help her find some Tylenol at 2 a.m. in the mountains because her kid is screaming with growing pains.
Am I slighting her with this only-child thing? I hope not. But, in the meantime, her chances of surviving childhood must be double what mine were.