Baby Girl

When I was thirteen my mother and step-father decided to try and have a baby.  I was excited.  I never had to a reason to be jealous.  I have mentioned before that my step-father calls me “Baby Girl” and I am still comfortable climbing into bed between my parents.  I delight in being claimed as someone’s baby and I was happy to welcome a new baby into our home.

It would have been delightful, except that a pregnancy did not come easily to my mother’s dusty old uterus.

LOL! Okay, if you have seen Get Smart then you get that joke.  If not and that comment makes you uncomfortable, rest assured I could say that in front of my mother and she would probably at least turn pink in her laughter.

It took a year before my parents decided that it was time to let go of “trying”.  My mother discontinued any attempts to stop a pregnancy and our family went on.  There was no baby.

As a thir…twenty nine year old woman.  Phew, how did I almost say I am thirty.  Give a girl her last couple of months (month) in her twenties.

As a twenty nine year old woman I know realize what a heartbreak that would have been for my mother.  It dawns on me like the realization of just how much your parents love you when you give birth to your own child for the first time.  A wanted pregnancy can be just as angst ridden as a unwanted one.  How cruel is that.

And then there was a baby.

It was a surprise we were all grateful to have.  My mother told us all to be expectant and we began to prepare.  The nursery, the walker, the clothing.  To be honest, I can’t remember if we found out what my mom was having.  My dad would say, “It’s going to be a baby either way.”  I wish I could emulate his voice for you because it makes me smile.

I remember laying next to my mom with a cup of water on her belly and watching the Jurassic Park waves in the water.  I remember the baby disney characters that we decorated the nursery with.  The letters M-A-R-L-E-E….I guess we must have found out.  Her name was a version of our Grandfather’s name Marlon.  Not Bob Marley.  One would be kind of cool but the other is steeped in memories of tractor rides before Marlee was born.  Surely he would have taken her for a ride too.

When Marlee was finally born we all loved her.  I loved her.  I love her.  I held her and felt her heartbeat on my chest and couldn’t believe my luck.  She was born in the summer and so her skinny-minny little legs dangled out of onesies that mimicked shorts.  Eventually, as she grew bigger she accompanied me to the games I cheered.

Yes, I was a cheerleader. It was awesome.  Go Might Matadors.  Refrain from any jealousy or holding my spirit stick career against me. :)

She also attempted to sing Edelweiss with me at a choir concert but alas her debut was postponed by a freak knock in the head prior to her performance.

At three and four I counted and named her freckles.  I even caught her covering herself in my Noxema (remember that?) and suffering the consequences.  I worked in her after school program and got to laugh when my friend shouted across the hall that Marlee had punched her friend in the eye.  As per usual, Marlee was unapologetic.

“I told her to leave me alone and she wouldn’t *shrug* so I punched her.”

Then I moved out because that’s what young adults do.

Now I have a sister who is fifteen and she is lovely.  Not perfect. Super skilled in soccer/volleyball, supermodel maybe, school genius for sure fifteen.  It is hard to watch her from so far away but we are Facebook friends.  I get to stalk her and laugh at the bumper stickers she posts.  I harass her when I am convinced someone is secretly in love with her.  Every now and again I chat her up and let her know that I love her, her freckles and singing Edelweiss with her.

Fifteen years and still a baby.  Did I mention I know how my mother feels?

Because there is no way I am posting a picture of her looking like that without expecting some repercussions.  There. We are even.  Notice the medieval cleavage.  I was nursing, okay.

This photo is just gratuitous attempt at showing you my families inappropriate sense of humor.  Notice where the, ahem, people of color are.  Tee hee.

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