Monday, March 29, 2010

Happy Birthday, Erika!

My sister, Erika, was my very first best friend.  She and I are a little less than 2 years apart and to say that we did everything together is an understatement.    Since we were so close in age, Erika wanted to do everything I did.  My mom who always wanted to be fair, treated us like twins...if I got something, Erika did too, only usually in a different color.  She even dressed us alike. 

Let me just say that having her as a sister, there was NEVER a dull moment! 

If you've ever met my sister, you would probably never guess that she got off to a late start talking.  She wouldn't speak clearly and instead of talking, tried to get away with some kind of baby babble well into her second year.  My mom would ask her what she wanted, trying to get her to talk and Erika would respond with some incomprehensible gibberish and she would say, "Erika, I don't understand you".  Well, it never failed that I would jump in as the big sister and tell my mom exactly what she wanted.  I understood her and I did not realize that my mom was simply trying to get her to speak clearly.  To some extent, this even happens to this day.  I understand her more than most people and usually know how she is feeling or what she is thinking before she can even verbalize it.

Trying to pick a story or two from our childhood to put in this post has been difficult.   We have so many funny memories that we desperately need to get documented before we forget them (if we haven't already).  This is one of Erika's favorite stories, and I'm sure she is expecting I put it in here.  I've never written it down before, so we'll see if it is as funny when you read it as it is when you hear it.  In December of 1987, when I was 8 and Erika was 5 years old, I broke my elbow.  At this point, Erika and I had bunk beds and I normally slept on the top bunk.  However, since I required surgery and had 2 pins in my elbow, a soft cast, and could not bend my arm, my mom put me on the bottom and Erika on the top so that I wouldn't injure myself further trying to climb up and down the ladder.  In the middle of the night, I woke up having to go to the bathroom.  Several things hindered me from going on my own - I couldn't get up out of bed on my own without hurting my elbow and I couldn't pull my pajama pants down (or back up) by myself, so I called out for Erika to help me.  After calling her name three times, I got a groggy response and told her that I needed to go to the bathroom, she said okay, and the next thing I heard was a huge THUD!  When my mom ran into the room, Erika was still laying face down on the carpet trying to figure out what had just happened.  She had totally forgotten that she was on the top bunk and just stepped out as if she was on the bottom.  Fortunately, she was just fine, and now we have a hilarious story to tell our grandkids.

As with most siblings...we had a few years where we didn't get along quite as well as we did in our younger years.  She didn't much care for my advice and I didn't like that she wasn't accepting it and abiding by it.  BUT as we got older, we found a mutual admiration for each other.  I hope she realizes now that my "advice" was given purely out of love and not some sick need to be right all the time.  The last year and a half or so, during the last few months of her pregnancy, and since John Patrick was born, we have been closer than ever.  We love taking the baby and our little cousins, Bianca, 4, and Alexis, 2, to the park, Chuck E Cheese and Disney on Ice together.  It is rare that we go more than a day or two without atleast talking on the phone and we see each other atleast once a week.

Erika has turned out to be such a great mother!  I am so proud of her and John Patrick definitely loves his mommy!  She goes above and beyond to make sure that he has everything he needs, no matter the circumstances.

Erika, I am so proud of the mother and person you are.  Know that if you or John Patrick ever need anything at all, I am just a phone call away. 

I love you both so very much.

Happy Birthday!!!

1 comment:

  1. Great blog Tina. I love the story, and yest it is as funny reading it as it would be to hear you tell it. I am cracking up!