sister for sale.

dear joseph,

i know what you’re going through… i am also the oldest in my family and 22 years ago i was the same age as you. i was eight years old and so excited for the new baby in the family. i already had a brother. when he was the new baby and i was in kindergarten i brought him for show and tell. it was “b” day so i introduced everyone to my new baby brother. he was okay… but what i really, really wanted was a little sister. i wanted to dress her up, brush her hair, take her places.

 

so there i was, eight years old, and it was the night the new baby was coming. i’d already determined that if this next baby wasn’t a sister i would have to take drastic measures… my fate was decided. i would run away. the logistics weren’t really ironed out but i knew what had to be done.

 

baby james stayed at a friend’s house that night and i got to go to the hospital with mom and dad. i waited downstairs across from the gift shop for what seemed like days… people came and went. some in a hurry, some walked feebly. some were cheerful, buying flowers and stuffed animals. others looked exhausted. i felt so small sitting on that couch as lives and worlds collided around me. i almost didn’t notice the doctor coming towards me. he was wearing a surgical mask and scrubs. he called out to me and that’s when i recognized the voice as my dad’s. eagerly i followed him onto the elevator. he asked if i was ready to meet the new baby (strategically leaving off any clues as to the baby’s gender).

 

as i followed my dad to the window of the nursery, i peered through the glass, searching over the tiny bodies. my dad got down to my level, pointing at a little head. a blue beanie covered it. another brother.

 

i thought of interchanging brother for sister in this poem:
one sister for sale!
one sister for sale!
one crying and spying young sister for sale!
i’m really not kidding,
so who’ll start the bidding?
do i hear a dollar?
a nickel?
a penny?
oh, isn’t there, isn’t there, isn’t there any
one kid who will buy this old sister for sale,
this crying and spying young sister for sale?

 

i’m not sure what happened to my grand running away scheme… i’d have to wait almost five more years for a baby sister. i stuck it out and decided brothers weren’t so bad, as long as they stayed littler than you!

 

so joseph, as you get ready for baby sister number 4 to come home… know that i understand a little bit of how you feel…. and even though baby katie is going to get all the attention and presents, like this little quilt… just know that something is in the mail for you!

 

 

**and if you want to say… swap a sister for a brother, let me know!
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