My office puts out a monthly “Fun Facts” on the department website. Given that I work for a home health care agency, and that we deal with the evaluation and analysis of patient data, these posts can be interesting, but I would hardly call them fun. So, I decided to put together fun facts about myself. Hopefully, they’re entertaining, and it can turn into a series of fun facts in the weeks to come. This is all in the spirit of keeping me writing, despite my suddenly very busy life.
When I tell people that I have five younger siblings, their eyes usually pop out of their heads. I suppose it’s impressive, but for me it’s just a fact of my life. The age differences between us is what I find more shocking. The youngest of my siblings, my little sister, is 19 years younger than I am. She just turned 13 a couple months ago, and a couple weeks after that, I turned 32. Needless to say, there was always a battle for my mom’s attention at home, one that I usually lost to my younger and more demanding siblings.
But, there were some benefits to being the eldest sibling, and I would say the most significant was being able to watch my younger siblings grow up. I have a ton of great memories of them doing and saying hilarious things. Like the time the youngest of my brothers got a battery stuck up his nose, and then expelled it by using what he called “the force.” Or the time the middle brother became so upset after getting a haircut which he felt made him “look ugly.” He must have been 3 or so years old, but even then he had a sense of style. And then there’s my little sister, who hasn’t stopped chatting since the moment she learned to talk, and somehow always manages to be hysterical.
One interesting fact is that they see me as an adult, and not just a big sister. When we were younger, this meant that they were fascinated by everything I did and were especially intrigued by my belongings. I once asked them in a rage why they insisted on sneaking into my room all the time and touching my stuff, and they told me: “It’s because you’re so cool!” and really meant it. It made me laugh, because I realized that I had never placed myself in their shoes and imagined what it would be like to have a much older sibling. It was a very strange setup indeed.
I lived at home until I was about 27. The lack of privacy and the incessant sound of children playing drove me bananas. Nowadays, I miss my siblings seeing me as a “super-sister,” (like a super-senior in high school) before they became teenagers way cooler than I am. Thankfully, I have a bunch of memories (and pictures) of their less cool days to deflate their big heads. Above is my youngest sister during her Hannah Montana phase, which she is now so over. The picture was taken on her 8th birthday.
The weather has become an unavoidable topic of conversation this past week. With the wind chill in the single digits, tonight dropping below zero, the cold literally hits you in the face. It makes for some crankier than usual New Yorkers, myself among them. Commuting in this dreadful cold is downright painful. And I hear snow is on the way, which will surely bring with it additional complications.
Was winter always such a miserable time? As a kid growing up in Brooklyn, this type of weather was not something I dreaded. I associated it with some of my favorite things, like playing in the snow, Christmas vacation, or my mom’s amazing hot chocolate. I have a vivid memory of being tucked into bed in my Popples pajamas, under layers of cozy blankets, and feeling the crispness of the tightly fitted sheets against my cold feet. It was a chilly delight that always made me giggle with excitement.
What would it take for us to take a break from our busy lives to simply enjoy the winter? To throw some snowballs around, or sip some hot chocolate between laps around the ice skating rink? It may not be as gratifying as when we were kids, but it’s worth a shot.