Staying Still for Colin

It’s my little brother’s birthday today.  I cannot believe how old and tall he is!  Isn’t it a funny moment when your cute little brother suddenly becomes your very hansom, tall brother?  Seriously, he’s like a foot taller than me now… maybe more.

Anyway, these are my reflections on memories from 20 years ago when my baby brother was born.  I miss and love you lots, Colin!  Happy birthday!

I’m wearing my favorite dress… well, one of them.  It’s the button up, with the pockets and the wide collar that looks like a slice of watermelon.  I am glad I’m dressed up, because I’m a big sister now.  I’m going to see my little brother.  Being a big sister is an important job, and I want to look the part… especially because I want Mom to let me hold him.  Only big, responsible girls get to hold baby brothers.

Grandmother says that we’re almost there.  I see huge buildings and a parking lot filled with cars.  There’s an apple on the seat next to me… the one my big brother refused to eat.  He doesn’t like apples.  I wonder if my little brother will like apples… he probably won’t be able to eat them until he’s three like me though.

We walk down a long hallway.  It’s white tile and bright lights, and there are windows to our right.  I see babies through the windows, in little boxes.  Is he in there?  I peer through the windows as we pass.  There’s a dark-skinned baby… Is that him?  I see a baby that looks a lot more like me, blonde and white-skinned, but then we’re turning into a room, and there’s my brother.

He’s curled in my Mom’s arms, wrapped in blankets.  All I can see is his little pink face.  Mom smiles at us.  My big brother and I run to her bedside.  Mom takes my hand and lets me touch his head, urging me to “be gentle.’

I am… I can’t imagine being anything else.  My fingers brush over feathery baby fuzz, and I can’t believe he’s real.  He’s just like my baby doll, Elizabeth, only warm, and breathing, and a boy.

I’m jumping up and down and asking if I can hold him.  I can’t help it.  I’ve been waiting for this moment forever!  Mom says if I sit on the bed next to her and stay very still, I can hold him.  I clamber on the bed and sit very still on top of the blankets.  He’s in my arms, warm and heavy and full of sleep.

I’m a big sister, and I can’t stop smiling.

Scotland Trip: T-35 Hours, Packing and These Next Two Days

I’m leaving for Scotland tomorrow… tomorrow, on a plane, by myself, without even knowing anyone there!  How did this happen exactly?

This morning, I am considering my packing list, which is really more of a packing “random conglomeration of ideas”, than a list.

Packing is complicated.  I meant to start a few days ago, but I had to do laundry, and now I am hovering over the frightening pile of clothing on my bed, wondering which pieces to bring.  I thought I could be so economical in my packing choices, but now… “I really like this dress, and this one is adorable!  I can’t possibly go without this shirt!  Can’t I just take them all?!”

Thankfully, I have recently acquired a pair of waterproof shoes, that is to say, rain boots.  They should be helpful in the Scottish damp.

That reminds me, I can’t forget Oleta’s raincoat, and I should probably bring her booties too, just in case.  I’m hoping my rain coat will be warm enough; I have been following the airdrie weather on my iPhone and it often drops into the lower 40’s at night.  Brr… Lots of layers?

We are spending the day today at an amusement park as a family.  If the boys ever get out of bed, it will be an exciting way to spend my last full day in the U.S. before my trip, and the last full day with my older brother, who will be leaving for his deployment in a week.  Yes, tomorrow will likely be very, very emotional for me.  Off to find some sustenance.  Only 35 hours now!