In our rush to move to the present what are the things we overlook? To begin with the birth of my sister, Mary Louise. She was born on May 19th 1961. My brothers and I had been eagerly anticipating our newest family member for months. When she was born we were stunned. A girl. A tiny, little, beautiful girl. What do you do with this?
Our boy brains were incapable of coping with this new development. We had no way of dealing with girls. They were alien creatures. Now there was one in our midst. So we just stared at her in her crib. My mother and grandmother held her up to Mick and I to hold. We were scared to death. She was so small. So tiny. So easy to break and we were so prone to breaking things. Her crib was in the dining room, a room filled with light.
Her birth was a great day but for our mother a difficult day. Like many women my mother suffered from post partum depression following Mary's birth. She required care and my father enlisted first my mother's mother and then a neighbor, Mrs. Paolo, to take care of this while he cared for my mother.
My sister was born ten years after me. After her birth there were no other brothers or sisters. Who cared? We had each other. Mick and I tormented each other and in turn tormented Ted. Ted in his turn tormented Mary Lou. Each of us envied the others relative freedom as our parents grew older and more relaxed in their parenting.
But for now, on a warm day in May, my sister lay in her crib. My uncles and grandparents and brothers and parents pressed in around her. What a gift. What a day.