Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Let Me Tell You About My Sister

Friday night I was driving to my sister C’s house. She lives about 3 hours away from me. C’s son would be making his First Communion on Saturday, so I drove over on Friday night to help her get ready for the party.

C and I are 5 years apart, and we’ve pretty much constantly been in different stages of life. She was in high school when I was in junior high. She was in college when I was in high school. She got married when I was 17; she had kids when I was in college. She had more kids when I was finished with college.

Now she has 4 kids, and is rarely in the same place long enough to talk on the phone or write an email. She’s a mom of 4, and I don’t have kids. So, lately there really hasn’t been that much that we have in common. I can’t relate to PTA meetings, she can’t relate to going sailing, or camping on a weeknight, or the other stuff I do. But we do connect now and then, and it’s cool.

As I was driving to her house on Friday night I remembered a trip C and I took when I was 17 and she was 22. She was married, and I was a senior in high school. We decided to take a weekend and go to Newport, RI together. I went to her house after a field hockey game, to shower and then we’d go. When I got there, she had just finished making her husband a pot of chili for the weekend. See what I mean? I was playing field hockey that afternoon, and she was making chili for her husband. Back when she played field hockey I was probably being potty trained, or something like that.

We got in the car and headed east. She was driving, and I sat in the passenger seat with my hair still wet from the shower. She rubbed her eyes, and started howling in pain. Apparently the jalapenos she’d cut up for the chili left oil on her hands, and the oil stung her eyes.

“C, pull over,” I said. “Use my hair, it’s still wet.”

She pulled the car over and grabbed my head, and began mopping her tearing eyes with my wet hair to ease the pain in her eyes. She finished, and let me have my head with the rest of my body on the passenger side of the car. Then we proceeded to have fun in Newport all weekend. That was the weekend I so rebelliously got my ears double pierced, and lied about my age on the form at Barry’s House of Scrimshaw to do have it done.

C, thanks for a great weekend (if you’re sitting still long enough to ever read this) and thanks for taking me to Newport that time. And I’ll always let you mop your stinging eyes with my hair.

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