Today is my sister's birthday. I've three siblings - an older brother and two younger sisters. This one whose birth we celebrate today is only 18 months younger than I and from what I've been told it was a love/hate relationship at the start. As my mother told it she felt tremendous guilt when she got pregnant with my sister - I was only 9 months old at the time and she felt she hadn't given me enough time to be "the baby", with all the attention that goes with that designation. There are 2 1/2 years between my brother and me so I suppose she was hoping for similar results, although we all know that birth control was a hit or miss proposition in those days. (Fortunately for many of us!)
Anyway, according to my mother I'd just started talking when the new baby arrived and then promptly stopped, not to utter another intelligible word until I was three-years-old. She felt it was my need for attention and allowed it to feed right into her mother-guilt. She should have realized it was more likely the earliest signs of a stubborn, willful child that would challenge her ever day of the next seventeen years.
Fortunately, whatever the early years foretold my sister and I became good friends by high school. Since we were only a grade apart we had many common friends and interests and did plenty of socializing with the same crowd. I was the older one but she was the blonde bombshell that had all the boys. We were very different, yet somehow alike and we found strength in each other's presence as we traversed the tricky waters of teen angst side by side. So many memories we have together!
It's hard to believe its been forty years since then, but it has. Our lives have taken very different paths and yet we remain in the same town and in pretty regular contact so we're still tied strongly together as only family members can be - with heartstrings and history.
Families are all about celebrations: births, graduations, weddings, even deaths. Families are about love. And many, many birthdays. Happy birthday Sis! So glad we get to celebrate another one together...