My teenage sister kept me company while my car underwent routine maintenance today. I picked her up first thing in the morning and we went to the car dealership, stopping for coffee and donuts on the way. I suppose she decided she preferred spending three hours with me in a waiting room to three hours in a house avoiding our grandmother.
We goofed off quite a bit; we took online quizzes together to determine what song we should listen to on repeat based on our astrological signs, or how awesome we were based on our knowledge of 2000s emocore. You know. The important stuff.
While taking a breather from pointless questionnaires, I returned a text message to a friend. We were trying to pick a date for me to come over and meet her son. A lot of my friends have given birth in the past year. I try not to gush publicly. I simply “like” the picture on Facebook. Internally, however, I’m screaming and trying to come up with ways to be known as “Aunt Leila” or mentally designing little “edgy” onesies.
Anyway, my little sister looked over my shoulder at the text conversation I was having with my friend and then asked what we were talking about.
“You remember ‘K,’ right?” I started, “Well, she had a baby, and I’m hopefully going to meet him next week.” For some reason, I continued, “A lot of my friends have had babies. I have no babies.” I tried to force out a chuckle.
My sister, without hesitation, replied, “You have me!” After reading my puzzled expression, she went on, “And you didn’t even have to give birth to me!”
We both laughed. I hugged her tight and joked that she will always be my baby, pinching her cheeks until she started swatting at me to stop.
It was a strange moment, though. She acknowledged something that my family members don’t typically talk about. Instead of validating the sentiment and going off on some tangent about (at the very least) my parents absenteeism, I held my tongue. Ten hours later, I still don’t know how to feel about it.