A special kind of double


Sami Gillette

As Mother’s Day approaches, normally I would quip and simper about how much I love my mom, which I DO. Absolutely. But that seems a little cliché and I feel like using this white space and your attention span more wisely by discussing something else. I have just learned that my little sister, my baby sister, my accomplice in all things devious… is expecting a baby.
Need I emphasize that she is my YOUNGER sister? I think it is this fact, this long ago logistical occurrence that made me the eldest, which is shaking me a bit. I’m the one that is supposed to experience and do everything first. How am I supposed to guide my siblings with my wisdom if they are so far ahead of me in this game called life?
Now, that’s not to say that I’m gung-ho to have my own baby (I’m pretty certain a male counterpart is required for that, anyway). But I would love to be able to guide my sister through this scary and exciting process.
I think I could manage changing a diaper but I get uneasy whenever I hold an infant (which has been a rare occurrence). And my mom and sister always smirk at me when I talk about being a mother. Do they know something I don’t?
Their reaction is valid. I do tend to panic when a baby starts crying. What do I do? How do I make it stop? I also happen to like my independence and would love to travel more. I’m certainly not planning on saving money for baby food and formula. God forbid, future college payments. I’m just beginning to pay off my own.
Perhaps I should stop worrying… My sister has a natural grace and easiness with children, especially babies, that I’ve always admired and often envied. She was always the more maternal one out of the two of us.
Toni Morrison once said, “A sister can be seen as someone who is both ourselves and very much not ourselves – a special kind of double.”
While my sister is separate from me in that we are going down very different paths, she is also a part of me. She is an extension of myself and I look forward to this epic, life-long journey. She may be a mother, and I may be an aunt, but we will remain sisters. Strong and steadfast.