Saturday, September 12, 2009

15 years later

I laid on my bed and cried today

15 years ago today
my middle daughter was born
but at that time
she was just “baby”

Karen was less than 2
barely
But she still didn’t talk much
She could say baby

And she loved her baby so much
She wanted to show her off
She always wanted to make sure that
“Baby too” was going with us
She was such a good big sister
Then

Then the baby started crawling
started walking
started talking
many things that Karen was still working on herself

the baby started taking her toys
her dolls
her books
and pulling her hair
her pretty curls
were such easy targets
for those chubby little hands

Baby knew how to piss her sister off
so
she kept doing it
after awhile
Karen realized
that she didn’t need that “baby”
and then
pretty soon
there was a new baby
and that original baby became
“the middlest”
and because the middlest was taught
how to be a good big sister
she showed her “baby” all the wonderful things
that her big sister taught her

the oldest
the middlest
the youngest
became our names

because the middlest needed a place too
always so concerned for the middlest
after that whole
Jan Brady fiasco
everyone worried about the middle one

but, the middlest would be fine
it was the oldest who was not sure where to fit in
she was not the new baby’s big sister
the middlest took that spot
and she was not the middlest big sister anymore
because now the middlest didn’t need one
she liked being the older one
and having someone new to boss around

so Karen
the oldest
stayed alone
most of the time

often
fights broke out between the 3
the middlest and the youngest
against the oldest
the oldest felt she never won
so
she stopped fighting
sometimes
or she fought so hard
she won
at the expense of others

about 6 weeks ago now
it was at the expense of herself
her mother
her father
and the middlest

she was taken away
by the police to a mental health center
then placed at a residential treatment center

things had not always gone according to her plan
she has not liked all the rules
some of the people
some staff
other kids
teachers
work
laundry
phone time
puzzles
therapy
doctors
on
and
on I could go

but
something magical has happened
the youngest has been acting up to the middlest
and the middlest realized that she
actually needed a big sister
after all
so
during this absence
the middlest and the oldest
have been talking
on the phone
it is a start
a very good start
for both of them
one that makes me cry
still

tonight
the two of them talked
about their lives
about their situations
and appreciated each other’s differences
they listened
without resentment
with real understanding

on Bethany’s, the middlest’s, birthday
15 years after
they became sisters
they discovered the joy of one another

now, I can lay anywhere
and think of this and cry
tears of joy