Friday, January 7, 2011

The Big Wheel

I didn't realize that I haven't posted anything since June of last year. Wow. I have been thinking about the past a lot lately. It's probably because I left my job and have a lot more time on my hands. Or it's because some old family issues have been coming up in conversation. I spent some time with my little sister today.

I stopped by her job to pick something up, and we got to talking. About A LOT of things. Things from when we were growing up. Anyway I remembered a story. One of the many, many places we lived, we had a neighbor. She was in her mid fifties, and her husband was a truck driver. To make some of her own money, she kept kids at home. I don't think the words "at home sitter" or "in home daycare" had been invented yet. After all, this was decades ago, you know, in the eighties.

This "old" woman as I thought of her at the time didn't like to be home alone when her husband was on the road. Of course, now I can look back and say that she had anxiety. So, she would pay me to A-stay overnight at her house while her husband was gone and B-pay me to help out with all the kids she kept. (Which is by the way, the reason I knew how to change a diaper when I had a baby at sixteen) So I usually had some money stashed. Sometimes my younger, criminally minded siblings would steal my money and go down to the corner store and buy candy. Not that I hold grudges or anything. Really.

The year my youngest sister turned four, she wanted a big wheel REALLY bad. She talked about it all the time. Any of you who know me personally or have read some of my old blog postings know that we were REALLY poor. Anyway, I had some money stashed and I wanted my baby sister to have a nice birthday. I knew my mom didn't have the money for the big wheel or a birthday party. So we took my money and went shopping. We bought decorations, balloons, streamers, birthday cake,  the whole nine yards.

In essence I threw my baby sister a birthday party. At twelve. The best part was that I bought her the big wheel she wanted. With my own money. I am not telling this story to toot my own horn. In my conversation with one of my other sisters, we'll just call her Marlette, you know, cuz that's her name. Anyway in this conversation I suddenly remembered the birthday, the big wheel, the decorations and well everything.

I told my sister this story. She was flabbergasted. She never knew that I had paid for that birthday for our baby sister. Not only did she not know I did it, but she was resentful for years that our sister Alicia, had gotten to have such a wonderful birthday. It just so happened that this same year she had a crummy birthday. Our mother didn't have any money and she had three children with May birthdays. The 15th, the 18th, and the 26th. Needless to say, there were not three birthday parties or even one. I think they other three kids had gotten a cake and a card for their birthday.

So all these years, she has remembered the year that Alicia got the goods and she got cheated. I told her today when we talked about it, as a twelve year old, it NEVER occured to me, that what I did would cause mutiny in the ranks. I just had absolutely NO clue! I just knew that my baby sister wanted a big wheel and the only way she would get it would be if I bought it for her. So Marlette, I am sorry about the year of the big wheel. Had I but known........