There are nine of us children in my family. Seven boys, two girls, and a set of twins in that mix. As the second oldest, I was pretty much used to there always being a baby in the family. Or at least a toddler. By the time the toddlers were just “little kids” there was always a new baby. It was tough but it was kind of cool. So many fights and so much love.
The youngest has 10 names. My mom couldn’t pick between everyone’s suggestions, so when she came back from the hospital and we asked what she’d chosen, she listed off all ten. It’s ridiculous.
I remember when she turned ten (it wasn’t so long ago) and it was baffling that the youngest of us was in the double digit years. The realization that she would always be the baby was one that took a while to sink in. It’s not that we felt there should be more, it was just a strange adjustment from being young and having baby siblings, to realizing that half of us were nearly adults, and the youngest was a double digit.
Today she’s 13. It is Margaret’s 13th Birthday. So not only have we passed the double digits, but the youngest is a teenager. How weird is that? Now I suppose it is time to realize that more than half of us are adults – we are, for the most part, who we are going to be for the rest of our lives – and there are only 3/9 who are not independently living their own lives.
There are still fights, and we still love each other – I don’t think either of those things will ever change (though the fights are about more serious things, and happen less frequently).
Much of the camaraderie that we had as children appears to have loosened up and possibly vanished forever, but I doubt that will be the case. When push comes to shove there’s little we wouldn’t do for each other. It’s just strange to go from being codependent little children to being a slew of adults with our own lives and personalities and ambitions. I suppose it’s just the next leg of the trail, the next unending adventure.
I can get behind that.
So today is a day of celebration. We are celebrating, from our own corners of the world, the thirteen years our baby sister has been with us. We are celebrating the personality she’s grown into and the spunky little person she continues to be. Hopefully she’s celebrating too. Happy Birthday Margaret. We love you.