Well, even though I don’t talk about her much on this blog anymore, my sister can still get under my skin. For the record. We have a cordial relationship that includes weekly phone calls or e-mails, but ever since everything went down between us last year, I find myself guarded. I don’t let us go too deep, and I rarely discuss any of my fears or uncertainty about this pregnancy or anything else with her, but I feel okay with that. I always wanted a sibling while growing up, but I’m finding it’s not quite the Polyanna dream I had imagined. Which is fine. It is what is and I don’t really feel like I’m lacking anything, so no harm done.
But still…she bugs me sometimes (though I’m sure everyone can say that about their sis). Like, her husband just graduated with a Master’s degree and all I hear now is how lucky her daughter is to be able to say both of her parents have a graduate degree. Yes, that’s something to be proud of. Honey and I both desperately wish we could go to grad school. But do I need to hear about it in every conversation? Like, seriously, every conversation? Noooooo. But that’s not even why I’m writing this post. It’s just a new gripe that I felt compelled to mention.
My biggest complaint about my sister is that everything is always about her. She’s selfish and she’s self-centered. She has so little consideration for others if it doesn’t serve her own purpose or desires in some way and she lacks serious self-awareness. The first time I met my sis, a year ago this past March, we agreed to meet halfway between our home cities. She was an hour late. An hour. Her husband took full responsibility for it because he was doing schoolwork, but that’s just inexcusable to me. And rude. Especially for a first time meeting (hello, first impressions!) and especially because I had a one-year-old Cupcake with me and I had expressed that she had a strict naptime we had to stick with. Instead, Sis arrived as we were finishing lunch, less than an hour before we were due to turn around to go home (so Cupcake could nap in the car), and made no apologies. And it’s been that way ever since. Even before she had a child of her own, I have always been expected to adjust my schedule to hers. Never mind that I’m living on my toddler’s schedule and mealtimes, naptimes, and bedtimes can be crucial for everyone’s sanity. Nope, Sis only responds to my needs and requests if it suits her just fine. Le sigh.
The most recent problem I have run into with this is trying to work with my sister’s arrival in regards to when I go into labor. A couple months ago, Sis offered to come stay with Cupcake while I’m in the hospital having Skittle. It was such a kind offer, and something that wasn’t even on my radar at the time. We were planning to ask my in-laws to come instead, but they live farther away than Sis and I don’t trust them to abide by our household rules in quite the same way. So I discussed it with my husband and we decided we would take Sis up on her offer. When I told her this a few weeks ago, though, I learned that there are lots of stipulations to the whole thing. As in, if I call her when I go into labor and she’s at work, she’s going to wait until the end of the work day to come and will then have to pick up my niece before she’s able to make the three-hour drive here. And if it’s the middle of the night, she’s going to wait until the morning to make the drive because she doesn’t want to disrupt her baby’s routine. So basically, the only time she’ll come right away is if it’s daytime on a weekend and she’s not in the middle of doing anything else. Which is fine. I understand — COMPLETELY! — if she doesn’t or can’t drop everything for me. I. Get. That. But then she shouldn’t have offered in the first place, right? I have never gone into labor naturally. And this is not my first baby. So labor could go fast. We don’t know. But what we do know is that babies come when they want. Sometimes in the middle of the night. Sometimes on a weekday. And they disrupt everyone’s schedules. She just shouldn’t have offered if she wasn’t willing to put me first for the first time ever. Another sigh.
Thankfully, I’m not stressed over this, just annoyed. My good friend Lillian is willing to be a backup to my sis. She says her phone will be on 24/7 and she will come running any time I call. In fact, I think she’s hoping that my sis quits, is fired, or fails at her job so that Cupcake can come stay with her (Lillian) instead. And honestly, I’m hoping for that too. Maybe I’ll just accidentally “forget” to phone Sis when the contractions begin? 🙂 But either way, at least there is someone I can trust. I may not have a sister I can count on, but I do have some very good friends on which I can. Right now, that feels like the most important thing.
And speaking of “friends”….remember my old friend, Kat? Well, she was due with her twins just 2-3 weeks after me, but she delivered them by C-section on Friday (about 9 or 10 weeks early). They have to spend some time in the NICU of course, but they seem to be doing well, from what I can gleam from Facebook. I have been momentarily and mildly tempted to send a private e-mail of congrats and support to her, and to go shopping for her babies, but I haven’t and don’t really think I will. I am happy for Kat, and hoping for her quick recovery and a happy homecoming for the babies very soon, but I feel little else. No jealousy, no regret, no sadness, no despair, no disappointment, no hurt, no wishing things could be different. The only thing I really feel is a subtle indifference, and that lets me know that I really did get the closure I needed. Thank you, God.