Wednesday, February 21, 2007

In A Nutshell

In a Nutshell

A place set aside to answer 201 autobiographical questions
from a mother for her daughter. This may take awhile...join us if you like.

24. What I liked about my siblings was.

Probably what I liked best about them was that they waited a good while to be born and gave me all those years as the only child. I might have liked them even more if they had waited longer and then had the proper respect for my obviously superior self.

I was/am a basically self-centered person in respect to siblings. Like Al Franken, often I focus on what things mean to me. And, what siblings meant to me was competition.

We really had a clumsy spacing, as far as close bonding was concerned. Forrest is five years younger than me and the opposite gender, so that whatever we have in common by virtue of being us is filtered through those two things. There is a certain symmetry, in his eyes, in that while I'm older he's male. The problem with that is that he also knows very well that his being male has never impressed me nearly as much as my being older used to impress him -- and I expect it to still do so. Colleen was female like me, but she was also ten years younger. Whatever we had in common by virtue of being two women was washed out by the distance in our ages. I left home at 16, when Colleen was six, which put further distance between us. And, they had that five years apart, opposite gender thing going, so they weren't very close to each other.

Because Forrest and I spent the years after my father's death separated, we didn't have as much of that early childhood bonding that many kids have. While I was living with Mama and Daddy, we were moving around a lot. When I went to live with Auntie, they settled down. So, my experience growing up was very rootless, while Colleen and Forrest had a more rooted childhood. Forrest still lives in the same town he has since he was 11; he sees people in the grocery store that he was in sixth grade with. Colleen graduated high school with people she had been in kindergarten with. I live in a state I never lived in as a child and the people I graduated with weren't even the same ones I started high school with.

The result of all this is that people have been astonished to discover that we were related at all. Colleen didn't look anything like Forrest and me and didn't act anything like us either. She wasn't interested in the things we were. Colleen, like Forrest, was tall (he's 6', she was 5'11") while I'm only 5'2". It is an odd and unusual sibling constellation.


Anonymous said...

Mom was only 5'10", so you know. :)

Maya's Granny said...

Are you telling me your mom claimed to be taller than she was? Damn! And me already such a shrimp!