Today is my little sister's birthday. We shared a room until I was in the 9th grade. We fought a lot and had a lot of fun, as well. At least, that's the way I'm choosing to remember it now.
I remember we used to fight over whose turn it was to do the dishes. After my parents developed a system where one of us would wash and one would dry, then we fought over whose turn it was to wash and whose turn it was to dry. We also fought about who would sit where in the back seat of the car, but since there were three of us, with my brother, someone always had to take the "hump" in the middle. Of course, the way I remember it, I was always right. (There has to be some benefit to being oldest.) We must have driven our parents crazy.
On Friday night my dad used to work late at his shop. Sometimes, that would be "pancake night" (my father did not consider pancakes to be a proper dinner). Sometimes my sister and I would have pancake eating contests. A few times we would start laughing so hard we could hardly finish our dinner. My mom always looked a little mad then. I remember thinking, "why is she mad? We're not fighting."
My parents also enjoyed the game we invented, called "Flood." We only played it on Saturday mornings. We pretended that our house was flooded, and that our beds were high ground. Eventually, though, we needed to go out to the living room to watch Saturday morning TV, and also to the kitchen to eat breakfast. Here's where it gets interesting. We would take all the books off the shelves, and use them as stepping stones to get to the other rooms in the house. Yes, our parents were wild about that game.
My sister and I tried not to be competitive. If I liked Simon and Garfunkel, she got interested in John Denver. I played the piano; she switched to violin and guitar. I liked writing; she was interested in art. Sometimes that worked, but not always.
My mom used to tell me that when I grew up, I would appreciate having a sister. I think she would say this during fights, and from her own perspective, she became really good friends with her older sister. In fact, I believe they shared an apartment in Minneapolis after they moved from the farm. I shared an apartment with my sister for a few months after I graduated from college, and while she was a student at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. It was a funky old brownstone one bedroom with hardwood floors and a huge walk-in closet.
Then, she got married and moved to Phoenix. The rest, as they say, is history.
I'm proud of my little sister. She became a graphic designer. She designed my ordination announcements, and also our wedding invitations. I used to dream that we would become a writing/illustrating team. But then, I would actually have to finish writing something. Perhaps I could self-publish a book of sermons someday, and have her illustrate them.
What do you think?
Anyway, Happy Birthday, Janet!