84: Timeless Moments

84: Timeless Moments

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Teens Talk Middle School

Timeless Moments

The great gift of family life is to be intimately acquainted with people you might never even introduce yourself to, had life not done it for you.

~Kendall Hailey

People dressed in white rushed down long glossy hallways that smelled like rubbing alcohol. Hospitals were places that I tried to avoid. They were always full of sick, complaining people, or crying family members. I slumped down in one of the wooden chairs in the waiting room. The rest of my family was sitting beside me, all except my mother. She was the reason we were here.

My mother was the comic relief and happiness booster in our family. But lately, she had been acting moody and irrational. Unfortunately, there was a very good explanation for the mood swings. She was pregnant. I was thirteen years old, and already a big sister to two other siblings. Why did we need another one?

My mother and I were as close as can be. We watched movies together, painted each other’s nails and even gossiped about friends. When other kids were embarrassed by the silly things their moms did, I joined in doing silly things with my mom. She wasn’t just my mother—she was my best friend. But, I wondered, with a new baby in the family, would she forget to do all those cool things with me?

I wasn’t sure I could be a big sister to another baby, anyway. What if this new one was annoying and pooped all the time? I folded my arms and looked at a clock that was on the wall next to me. It was seven in the morning. We hadn’t been there long, but my mom had been in the hospital for hours already. My dad was the one that took my mom to the hospital at four in the morning. At six thirty he had called my grandparents and asked them to bring me and my brother and sister.

My dad kept pacing back and forth between mom’s room and the waiting room. Then, finally, he told us to follow him. My brother and sister jumped up to follow, but I lagged behind. This was it. This was the moment everyone had been waiting for—seeing the baby. I wasn’t so sure about this. I could understand why my brother and sister were so excited about the baby because they were new at this whole big brother/sister thing. But me, I was the old one. There was nothing too significant about this moment for me.

We filed into the room where our mom was. She was lying on a hospital bed covered with a blue blanket, her curly hair wild around her face. My family crowded around her before I could even see what the baby looked like.

“Who wants to hold your new baby brother?” my mom asked.

My brother and sister fought over who should be allowed to hold him first while I just leaned against the wall.

“Erica,” my mom called to me, “would you like to hold the baby first?”

I soon found myself sitting in a leather armchair while my dad placed my new baby brother in my arms.

At first, all I saw was a bundle of blue. Then, I saw a tuft of blond hair. I pulled down the blanket a little and came face to face with a chubby blue-eyed baby. A little hand broke free from the bounds of the blanket and tried to grasp my finger.

“His name is Ben,” my dad said. Ben’s smooth face broke into a toothless smile, and I found myself smiling too.

“Hello, Ben,” I said. His soft fingers held mine tightly and his eyes sparkled with curiosity and tried focusing on my hand. Maybe he wasn’t so bad after all. I couldn’t help but feel a warm, elated feeling rising in my heart. From the firm way he was holding my finger, I could tell that he knew I was his sister. He needed me, and deep down maybe I needed him too.

“I’m your big sister,” I said.

Even though I thought that being a big sister again wouldn’t be as special as the first time, it felt just as special. I found myself thinking that this baby deserved a big sister just like any other baby. Just because he was the youngest of four siblings didn’t make his birth any less significant.

I leaned down close to Ben’s ear, and even though I knew he couldn’t understand me, I whispered, “I’m going to be the best big sister ever.”

~Erica Kinne

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