Monday, September 13, 2010

You could've been Busy Timmy...

Argh. I've been a very delinquent blogger lately. Very busy at work, and my sister has moved in with us to study at the Finger Lakes School of Massage. It's only a seven-month program, she's a lovely houseguest, and we usually have someone staying at our house nearly every night of the week anyway, so that's nothing new.

I was five when Katie Margaret was born. Since my brother had turned out to be a giant disappointment to me 4 years earlier (he just cried all the time, most unlike my baby dolls which was my expectation) I was hoping for something better this time around. Since I handled my brother's arrival so poorly, my parents tried to ease the way by letting me name the new baby. I decided on Katie Margaret if she was a girl, or Busy Timmy if he was a boy. Kate was lucky she was female.
I look very Carey Mulligan in this photo, no?
My parents' favorite story about when Katie was born was that my grandma Genevieve was watching Kevin & me, and we decided to make cookies to celebrate. She was so flustered by all the excitement that she used salt instead of sugar, which we did not discover until my mom tried one of those delicious chocolate chip cookies we brought to her in the hospital.

The excitement was that my sister was born with the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck twice and she looked so bad at birth that they gave her the last rites. They were particularly concerned because of the trauma at my brother's birth and that my mom had miscarried prior to Katie. But fortunately, she was fine, my mom was fine (although she was told this should be her last baby), and as soon as she came home, I pronounced Katie MINE.

Me, Dad, Katie, Mom, & my great-grandmother
I've always been very grateful for my sister for a lot of reasons, but most especially that we shared the experience of growing up with my brother and his problems. Even back when five years was a big age gap, it was a huge comfort knowing someone else in the world really knew what it was like having a sibling with mental and psychological problems. I could always count on Katie to sympathize and not lecture me, like well-meaning family members did when I complained about his latest injustice. When your brother has just destroyed a bunch of your favorite toys, you're looking for a little sympathy; you don't need to hear, "He's special, he doesn't know what he's doing." Kids with disabled siblings already bear a huge load of guilt just for being the normal ones. Sometimes we just need to hear that it's okay to be angry with him because he's being an assmunch- disabilities have nothing to do with it.

My very favorite picture of my sister. Ever.
Because our high school was so small, we ended up doing a lot of the same activities. She was in 7th grade and eligible for sports during my senior year. She ran cross-country and track with me, and was on the swim team as well. I am the better swimmer; she was by far the better runner. On track, during the 3,000, she would lap me. Toward the end of my senior year, when yearbooks came out, the girls on track learned that my dad's nickname for me was Hamchuck. They were already calling Katie "Cheese" because when she ran by you, she'd put on a big 'say cheese' grin. So upon discovering that I was "Hamchuck" and she was "Cheese," we became the Deli Sisters.

Katie is an enormous lot of fun, and much gutsier than I am. At the hotel for my grandma's 90th birthday party, we went down to the bar and saw that not only did they have a DJ playing that night, but that someone was celebrating their graduation with a big decorated cake. Big mistake. Kate snarfed the little fake diploma and plastic cap from the cake and ran around the bar wearing it all night.

We also decided that we would take a picture of the two of us and Kevin every year on St. Patrick's Day. They do a giant hoopla in my hometown on St. Pat's- the town's predominantly Irish- and there's a big parade then a huge party, ironically, at the Knights of Columbus (lots of italians too). We had two years of nice pictures, before Kate got cranky one year and refused to come out.

Me and Kevin with "The New Katie"
As a joke, Kevin & I got this nice lady who was serving up reubens on the food line to pose with us as the New Katie, since her name really was Katherine.

So even though it may seem like an adjustment to have someone living with us for seven months, I'm really thrilled to have my sister here and I'm proud to be able to help her achieve her goal. And I'm really psyched about all the free massages I'm going to get.
Sportin' some stylish footed jammies from the Webster Goodwill store

1 comment:

  1. I want some big girl feeted jammies! I also want to hang out with the two of you.
    Free massages! That would be the bomb diggity.