when i left for college, james was just starting high school. leiland was in junior high. asia was in 4th grade and rachel was only two.
i worried about the gap in our ages and the geographic distance that was bound to separate us. the year was 1996. the interwebs were kind of a new thing, so without stellar research tools like google and wikipedia i was confined to doing the majority of my investigation in the harold b. lee library. i also took to giving impromptu interviews to anyone who had a much older sibling.
my extensive research yielded a fairly straight forward answer: the nurturing of the relationship would be dependent on the eldest sibling.
in an effort to not have younger siblings refer to me as their much older and unknown sister, i got to work. i’d send them birthday boxes, i made them gifts, i called often. once when rachel complained no one would make her a peanut butter and jelly sandwich i sent her a mini jar of jelly and peanut butter and told her that she was only allowed to use them. while on my mission i would write my family a weekly letter but i would also choose a sibling each week to write to individually.
in our family we always called the newest baby, baby. the nickname would stick sometimes up until the next baby was born. with rachel, she has always been the little baby junebug.
once while my brothers and i were at a cake concert, rachel was belting out a cake song in our absence at a church talent show. she was four.
never there, by cake