Monday, March 23, 2009
Growing up I was the only girl, I had three brothers, one older two younger. When I was about 8 or 9 I remember my mom being pregnant with my youngest brother, I hoped so hard that she was going to have a girl, I wanted a sister so badly, but it turned out to be a boy. I do love that funny little brother of mine though, I used to mother him, read him stories. Then when I was about 13 or 14 my mom became pregnant again. I went with her to the hospital, I still remember hopping along the path to go into the ultrasound technicians office. I still remember seeing that baby up on the screen and the suspense the technician held us in, when he told us that it was going to be a little girl a sweet happiness stole over me and I skipped along as we left the hospital. The pregnancy was a little bit difficult for my mom near the end, she was about 40 at the time and had a history of late coming babies. Little sis. was due about the same time as girls camp and it made me so nervous, I didn't want to go. Mom and dad made me go anyway, and I was miserable. I couldn't stop thinking about it, I wanted to go down with my dad when he came up with the other leaders to visit, but he wouldn't let me. I cried myself to sleep and woke up early the next day to pack. The bus ride home took forever and no one was there at the church to pick me up when we got back. Fearing that she had had the baby I picked up all of my stuff and walked home. Backpack, sleeping bag, another bag, and my pillow, it was if the weight of the world was on my shoulders, everything was heavy, especially my heart. I dropped my stuff in the living room when I got home and immediately went to the phone to call around, there was no one at Grandma's, I couldn't reach my dad, I checked the caller ID, no calls from the hospital... no cell phones back then so I was out of luck. I felt abandoned, lost, like no one cared about me. So I went up and had a shower, using lukewarm water because I had a terrible sunburn. My hair had turned a bright blond, my face a bright red and I felt sun sick, so I went to my room and collapsed on the bed. Finally, about an hour later, my dad came in to find me. I was so relieved, he said that mom hadn't had the baby yet and that the others were with my Grandparents. He was so excited about the baby... he brought me up to my grandparents and then went back to the hospital. He kept calling with feverishly happy updates about the whole process, I will never forget how proud he sounded when he told us about the birth of my little sister. Black hair and blue eyes, an anomaly in our family. Her hair was so beautiful, long and soft. I remember holding her for the first time in the hospital, how happy I was, I wanted to help so I fed her a bottle of sugar water. I didn't want to share her, she was my sister, I had waited for her for so long. My brothers couldn't understand, they already had a sister, but she was my first. I had dreams of showing up at her school when she was in kindergarten, diving a car, bringing her to the mall, I thought she would be popular because she had an older sister. I was a little bit delusional in my ambitions. There was a big get together after her blessing, she looked so beautiful in her long white blessing gown. I think she actually spit up on that gown and it had to be dry cleaned. Everyone wanted to hold her, all of my aunts and cousins crowded around and I was so jealous that they were paying attention to her, no one wanted to talk to me, plus I had to share my sister with everyone, it was all too much. As she grew, she was the cutest little thing. That jealousy that had started at the blessing kept festering in me. My mom must have thought I was more grown up than I was because she told me all about how wonderful my little sister was all the time in that bragging grown up way that people use with other adults. She would say stuff like "the lady in the store stopped us and kept telling me over and over how beautiful K is with her pretty brown curls and big brown eyes (her hair turned brown then blond and her eyes lost the baby blue and turned brown, go figure)." Mom didn't know how jealous I felt, and I hated myself for it. All of a sudden everything was about my little sister, my dad, who really doesn't get teenagers any way, became more and more distant with me. My grandparents were always talking about her, my grandpa spent hours filming her. My cousins were obsessed with her, and I was spoiled, a really jealous, spoiled girl and no one understood that about me so no one tried to help me or maybe they didn't know what to do about it. Suddenly I just didn't like to have a little sister around, who got into my deodorant and used it to color on my brown door. Who got into my stuff, who's changing table was put into my room with her stinky diapers. I look back now at myself and I really feel sad that I had that attitude, K was such a fun little girl and I missed it. What bugged me the most was that K somehow picked up on and copied every bad attitude that I had, even when she was really little, I hated being an example when I felt so messed up myself. I wanted to change so much about myself and wished that I could stop time and be a better person before she started picking up my bad habits that I was trying to get rid of. K really loves this video of my 16th birthday, 16, I was so insecure. I was so unsure of myself that I said stuff to try and cover it up, it all came out sounding snotty. My beautiful cousin Shany valued my little sister, she could see how wonderful she was. I am so mad at myself that I missed that!! It really makes me cry. I don't like to watch my 16th birthday tape too much because the difference in my attitude and my cousins is so clear. But then it is interesting to see myself then as well because I remember that period so vividly, it was one of the best times in my life. My cousin and I were so close and so crazy together. After that year though, my life changed. Little sis. was only 3 years old when I got married, only 4 when she became an aunt. We lived with my parents and it caused a lot of stress for my mom. My dad generally did little mean things to pick on me for my bad choices, he would always say belittling remarks about how poorly I took care of my baby. Maybe I did, but I was depressed. My mom was depressed too, it was hard for her, it was hard for K. She was the littlest before and then suddenly there was a baby. I worked at the local store, my husband worked for his uncle, who generally paid him slave wages if at all. It made me mad but I was powerless because his family still held a lot of power over him. For about a year and a half that's how things went, then things got difficult with my husband. We were both immature and not ready for any of what was going on. We had big problems, big indecision's, other interests. It ended up that his family sent him back to Tonga because they thought that it wasn't going to work out with us. I was so confused but couldn't work it out because he was gone. Then the plan was to get him a VISA to come back. So I filled the paperwork, and we caught deadlines just before they changed the law, we sent off forms, and I waited and waited. My life was on hold at this time and it held everyone in my family in this sad suspense. I was pregnant with my second baby, 5 months when he left, she was two months or so old when he got back. I continued to work at the store even though I would sometimes black out for who knows what reason. Still we waited, K got ignored sometimes because there was so much stress in the process. It was a nightmare we would get a letter and have to go through the files again, pull out certificates again, go and get things notarized, mail off money and pictures, fax things to the consulate. There was one time, little sis. was 6 years old and we had to fax something right then, the store bank that we had found a fax machine to use from was going to close and so we had to get there. Little sis. was watching a TV show and minding her own business and besides my dad was going to be there any minute and the store was only a few blocks away so we locked the baby, my oldest in his car seat, and left her on the couch to watch her TV show and ran over to the bank and just in time. When we got back we found fire trucks and policemen and the house was filled with smoke. K was sitting on the lawn in a big white blanket, naked. Apparently I had left a pot on the stove because I had been boiling a yam. K had decided to go take a bath, who knows why, the water boiled out and the house filled with smoke. K got scarred and ran outside, someone called the fire department. The firemen found the pot and placed it on my moms new kitchen table burning it and ruining the finish (still feel bad about this), and K was hurt by it. I felt so guilty. They gave her a little bear and let her keep the blanket, my mom had to explain to child services that she doesn't usually leave her 6 year old alone. K was attached to the bear, I hated it, it was a reminder of how I had failed her yet again. I eventually hid it, I know, I was so mean. Eventually HOM came home and we moved out, I had bought stuff at yard sales and such so we were prepared right? Nah we were still playing house. It has taken a long time to get where we are now. Things got better and they got worse for K. Mom was still depressed, and K went to school in the next city up from ours because my grandparents were there to watch her after school and that's where mom worked any way. The school was supposedly better than the one down by our house, supposedly nicer kids, but it turned out to not be that way. We foolishly thought that K's outgoing attitude and aptitude for making friends would make up for the fact that she didn't live in the neighborhood. We were wrong, and she had a hard time of it. Then somehow she missed some things in school and the teacher sent her to resource, and the teachers said stupid things insinuating that K was dumb. It all made me so mad, K is so smart... but anyone is going to feel dumb when the class leaves you behind and keeps going because they got the material that you missed and each year it got progressively worse. Whats funny is that this scenario happened to me as well. When I was a sophomore I was in a black depression and would walk home after second period and cry on the church lawn begging for answers. I didn't get answers, I got challenges, I got mistakes to learn from. Right now, at this very moment in my life I have finally come to grips mostly with who I am and I am working on things that I enjoy. Back then I was confused and didn't like myself. Right now, I see my beautiful little sister, she seems depressed. One of my great inabilities is in knowing what to say to someone that would help. I think that it is partly what happens to my dad as well, except he gets judgemental and everything he says comes out sounding self righteous and sometimes, often, mean. As for me I look at my little sister and I know she is depressed, really depressed, school is just not working for her and I don't know what to say. I don't know what to do. I want to spend time with her, then don't, because I am lame... because I don't know if she will accept it from me. I hate myself for this as well... But I do want to go around with her to take interesting pictures, I think that would be fun... I see so much about her that is so fun and fantastic, she is a writer, and an art type as well. She was amazing the other day when my little girl needed someone to do her stage make up for hula, K did it quick and it made a big difference because we were late already and I wouldn't have known what to do... So that's my little sister, and I guess a big part of my life as well. She is a part of me, and I love her a whole bunch.