*disclaimer: this is full-on navel gazing, self-reflection on my life, my family and our preferences and is not meant to suggest the ideal number of children ranging from 0-25 for any other family other than the one I am currently in*
First let’s be clear, we were not the best dressed family of 1990. Or any other year in that decade. Our family went through a collective awkward phase, even if my sister calls her awkwardness ‘pizazz’ or something, for almost 20 years that we only recently emerged from about a decade ago. This picture was taken at the wedding of one of my many second cousins…Dino perhaps? I mean no disrespect to my mom, but it’s pretty amazing how great she looks here because she went through a lot of Oprah-like hair changes during this era that…well…let’s say they didn’t photograph well. My dad appears exactly the same except that today he has improved the look by accepting the fate of his hairline with grace and an electric trimmer. My sister has the confidence of a 5 year old who is planning on smoking a cig behind the limo during the cermony. I am wearing a bandanna. As a hair accessory. To a wedding. It seems like a huge fashion mistake except when you realize the bandanna is mercifully keeping the attention away from my turtleneck and homeless-person type layering. That dress was one of my prized possessions and it’s made of corduroy. So. There’s that.
I found these while helping my mom go through a bunch of photographs that belonged to her sister who died three years ago. It is, for obvious reasons, very painful for her to go through these stacks, thinking of her sister, thinking of their memories together. I have a sister, who I love to levels on par with Dave and Vesper, and I can’t imagine it. But here we are, facing the reality of life, trying to make it easier by doing it together.
Despite the sadness of such a task, we spent most of the time laughing. At pictures of their childhood in the 50′s, at pictures of their hair in the 80′s, at all the awkward school photos of me and my cousins that my aunt kept all these years. These 3 of our family though were really a terrific find. The pictures in our own albums are mostly taken by my mom so she isn’t in most of them. And my sister and I have gone through all those albums so many times each of those photos is committed to my memory. But these were new and unseen. Images of my parents as the heads of a young family. Images of my sister who was, despite our age difference and me being older, already becoming a role model for me. Images of how I thought taking the cover from the Wilson-Phillips tape to my hairdresser was a good idea.
I have some anxiety about having another baby in 17-ish weeks. (Yes. Another. Baby. Human.) About our adjustment and our girl’s adjustment and the growing pains that come with change for everyone. But mostly I’m excited. For me, and for her. So that someday when they are going through the boxes (digital files?) of photos from their childhood laughing at my hair and marveling at how young we once were and at Dave’s baggy pants phase and how cute they always have been, they will be doing it together. Laughing at a life lived together, and awkwardness spent as a team, at pain shared with each other. This is, I know, by no means a guarantee. But without a sibling it’s not even a possibility.
For all the reasons to have another child and to not have another child, today I smile thinking of the idea that a sibling means that someone exists who knows you since dawn of your own time and loves you despite corduroy dresses.