i miss my sister

I remember when my sister had her first child, it was really my first true exposure to loving a small child. I would visit between college classes or on my days off work to get to know Lindsey. I had no idea how to interact with this child or what to say or do, but my sister would routinely get out the camera, hand me a toy, then somehow I would shake it to try and earn some new baby smiles.

I always knew it was my job to make sure this girl learned some silly from me. I would make goofy faces when my sister left the room and Lindsey would always respond. She would laugh or eventually make silly faces back once she was old enough. I remember when she was discovering her toes I showed her how to clap with her feet while she laid on her back. It was hilarious to me and it had her giggling, too. It was even more funny when my sister caught me teaching her that trick! 'Don't teach her that, you are going to make her wierd!' she playfully scolded and then we laughed about it together. We both knew that me being in her life didn't mean I would be teaching her anything normal. I was Aunt Liz, the one who showed up in the Uncle Buck car with 600 stickers on it and an engine that wanted to explode every time I tried to start the car. I approached the front door in a bright yellow sundress that swept to the floor and tied around my neck; a gem I scored for $3 at the thrift store that had probably been collecting dust since 1976. I might as well have painted my face in clown make-up and smoked a cigar through the entry way. I don't know how that makes any sense, but it seems to express what I want.

This week I let Zane pick out a special jar and cool rocks to put in the jar for good behavior moments (earning a toy with 10 total). I totally thought of my sister when I sat on the ground with him and played with his bag of rocks, telling him to lay down so I could make cool patterns on his arms. I was wishing she was here to tell me, as is her role as Aunt Lisa, to take those rocks off of him cos I am making him wierd! I pretty much took this picture for one purpose- so I could post it and she could call me and be like 'what on EARTH are you doing to your son in this picture' and we could laugh together for about 5 minutes.

Man, she really saved me some big time mockery during school years by keeping me from being too wierd or by redirecting my talent show ideas! I could have been seriously made fun of if it wasn't for her clueing me in on reality and joining the rest of the world everyone else seemed to be more aware of than I. Someday I hope we live in the same state again so we can balance the influence on each others' kids. I can bring in the healthy dose of added goofy and she can bring in the big bag of normalcy. I promise, I won't corrupt yours too much.
I love that we are so different. That I get to learn from her experiences as a parent, that I knew how to play the flute before my first lesson at school. That she would give me the run-down of how junior high schedules worked and lockers- all those little details that freak you out unless you get the sister's overview. I always had her to answer my questions (remember that one about the carrot scene in Porky's?! LOL!). That she introduced me to the world of college radio at a young age. That she always gave and shared her knowledge without expecting anything in return. That she would laugh at me when I would try so hard to be funny for so long. That she would sit in my room if I was crying and she would try to guess why for at least an hour. That she found joy in seeing me excited about the Easter Bunny, she didn't ruin for me too soon. That we would turn down the volume on shows and make up our own scripts. That summers were never boring because she always had something interesting in mind to keep us busy. That she brought me to my first true love: Taco Bell: for the first time. That she got me out of the house when I wasn't old enough to get out of the house on my own (Mill Ave, Tower Records, Mall, etc). That we learned together to appreciate every single John Candy movie. over and over and over.
I am grateful that I got to be the little sister,
cos man if I was the older sister- we both would have been screwed!
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