Now That I'm Someone Else

LIfe and loves of the bubble bath queen

Friday, May 1, 2009


Yesterday I was talking with a friend at work and somehow the conversation wound it's way to kids today and the differences between us and them. Jill and I both have teenage daughters who cannot imagine sharing a room with a sibling, let alone two or three. We found ourselves reminiscing about the rooms we shared over the course of our childhoods.

I shared a bedroom, more often than not, sometimes with one sibling, sometimes with three. My brother, who is eighteen months younger than me, and I shared a room until I was ten and my parents decided that as the only boy he deserved his own space. There were times I hated sharing a room, no privacy, I could never be alone, but the flip side of that is the wonderful moments I shared with my siblings that I would never have had otherwise.

When I learned to read I remember turning the lamp on the bedside table on and putting a blanket over it to hide the light from my parents, and reading to my brother from the books I brought home from school. My brother thought I could do anything, that I was the most amazing, smartest sister in the world.

I also remember my brother taking a spanking for something I had convinced him to do and then pretended I knew nothing about. We used to sneak out the bedroom window when we were supposed to be napping, I always made him go first and peek around the side of the house to see if Mom was outside, if she wasn't then we could make our way through the neighbors yard and an hour of sweet freedom. If she was out there, chatting with the neighbors, then we had to take a nap. John always got caught if Mom was in the front yard, he was little and chubby and not fast at all, so he would poke his head around and someone would see him.

I can still see Mom leading him by the arm, back into the bedroom, Johnny walking on his toes while Mom swats his bottom. And where was his sister, his hero? Curled up on my side, pretending with all my might that I was asleep. Amazingly, he still trusted me, every time.

My sisters, that was a circus. I'm the oldest so they had to do what I said, like it or not. Worked out for me most of the time, except that Terrie was a tattletale so anytime she didn't like what I did, she told on me. John was much easier to manipulate than the girls.

The noise, the mess, staying up all night talking and giggling, or shutting each other out and refusing to speak. I remember one house we lived in where all four of us shared a room and a bed. I loved having them all there with me. At times our lives were so unpredictable and we didn't always know where we were going to live or what we were going to eat, but we always had each other. Even though I bossed them around and was meaner than necessary, I worried about them so much, so when we shared a room, I always waited until they fell asleep, then I would allow myself to go to sleep, it was my job to take care of them, and sharing a room made that so much easier.

I remember being jealous of my friends with their own rooms, decorated the way they liked, with all their pretty girly things that no one else touched or snooped through. I was so jealous. Today, I wouldn 't trade it for anything and I feel bad that my daughter will never know what it's like to share a room with someone who annoys you more than anyone else on the planet, but who also shares your history and your heart.

I love my siblings, thanks Mom and Dad for giving them to me!

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