Sunday, January 15, 2006

I Know the Truth About Love

I know the truth about love. My truth, anyway.

I was five and a half years old and heard my name outside my bedroom door. Before I could peel my eyes open out of a dead sleep, the light was on and I was watching my Dad pull clothes out of the dresser.

"What are you doing, daddy?"

"It's time to go."

"Go where?"

"The hospital. Mommy's having the baby."

I wiped my eyes, put on the clothes he'd layed out and hiked up from the basement of our ranch-style house to see my mom, breathing lamaze-style, trying to get shoes on and telling me to get my coat. I remember wondering why the baby couldn't wait till morning and what a pain this was. I thought that all the way to the hospital and even as I waited in the hallway with family members.

Until the nurse and my dad came walking out of the room with this little wad of white. The nurse bends down and holds this ball of white blanket in front of me. I look at her and I'm instantly fascinated. Little did I know, that feeling would never leave me. Every moment from that second on, I was a big sister. The love, the responsibility, the duty, all effortless from here on out. She and I would be loyal friends, fierce adversaries and the best and worst secret-keepers to one another, for life.

There, at midnight in the Spring of 1985, I knew the truth about love. I knew what it meant and that it was meant for me.

Now, 21 years later, I get to be reminded of it again. My life-long confidant, friend, and partner in crime is bringing a little ball of white blanket of her own into the world.

How brave she is. How strong she is. How she continues to fascinate me.

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