As we wait for Bryce’s little sister to be born, I cannot help wondering what his reaction to having his kingdom invaded will be. He has been involved with decorating her room and knows the crib is for “my sister,” but I do not believe he has any idea what that really means. Will he cry like Kelly did when Jamie made her grand entrance into our household or will he spit in her eye as Aunt Ar did after the birth of Aunt El? Whatever the immediate reaction, I am confident that he will grow to love have a sibling as you all did.

None of you or any of your cousins grew up like I did, sharing a bedroom with at least one other person. You each had your personal spaces to withdraw to when you had friends over to play or you just wanted to be alone. That never happened to me. That is probably why I played at Karen’s house more than mine.

I shared my room with my two sisters, and your uncles had the smaller bedroom on the left at the top of the stairs. Looking back, I wonder what it was like as a seventeen year old to share a room with a thirteen year old and an eleven year old. But when you know no other way, you don’t complain. It is normal.

As the oldest, Grandma allowed me to choose the décor. One year, I decided we needed some color in the room, so I picked out the wallpaper. It was a pink gingham-checked pattern that could not have been a favorite of Aunt Ar, particularly if that was the year of her black phase. Another year we had dark brown cork squares put on one of the walls which served as a huge bulletin board—definitely more practical and less offensive than the pink.

We had bed talk at night, frequently supplementing our nighttime chats with a flashlight so we could play “the spotlight’s on you” as we liked to call it.

When I went away to college my sisters were probably thrilled to have the extra space, but I came home so often they probably hardly noticed. I was gone from the house for good before Aunt El was out of high school and then their exits from the house happened two and four years after mine.

Gone from the house does not mean gone from the heart, which I hope is what is happening with the three of you. Over the years, I vacationed with my sisters several times. Aunt Ar and Uncle Paul traveled with us to Florida. We went to Bush Gardens and to visit Dad’s grandmother in Miami. That is the time she invited the four of us to dinner—the famous single Cornish hen dinner for five (“Lick the bones,” she told us as if that would help to fill our stomachs.)

We rented the shore house with Aunt El on LBI, and they accompanied us to Kiawah Island and the cruise. Your two aunts helped nurse Casey when I had to have surgery when she was only four months old, something Aunt Ar may like to forget but not Aunt El.

I truly hope that the three of you will somehow not drift apart. It will not be easy since you live in three different states, but you can call, text, or email, so you should be able to stay in touch. Try to plan visits when possible.

You will not always be in the same place in your lives, as is the case at the moment since Kelly is the only one who is a mother. But don’t let that stop you. The bonds of sisterhood are strong and should never be broken, although at times, they may be tested and temporarily weaken. But in the end, you should always have each other.

Aunt Ar, Me--Holding Aunt El
Aunt Ar, Me–Holding Aunt El

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