Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Another blog post spring board...thanks Thumper!

Thumper's post inspired me...and the subject matter made me kind of annoyed (not Thumper's viewpoint, but the fact that this idea is perpetuated). The subject of the post is a virtual "sibling slam" book, where people write anonymous entries griping about their siblings.

This BEE-YOO-TEE-FUL creature to my left is my sister, Ruthi. (and she IS beautiful, thank you very much...)

Ruthi is four and 1/2 years older than I am.

Now, Dawsonian family apocrypha states that on the occasion of my birth, my parents told Ruthi that they were going to town and when they came back, they'd have a surprise.

Guess what the surprise was?

Yep...baby Sudie.

My sister's response upon my arrival? According to the 'rents, she said, "I wanted a pony."

I don't doubt that at all, and I must admit that if faced with the choice of a pony or a baby sister, a pony would be more acceptable. But I digress.

At any rate, she's the first born and I'm the second. We would've had two brothers but Mother Nature declared it "not to be". That's OK...I think sometimes Ruthi and I were MORE than enough.

My mother did NOT have girly-girls, that's for sure. We were just as inclined to stuff all our Barbie dolls in the Barbie camper and push them down the stairs (providing the screams of bloody murder therein) as we were to dress them up and make them look pretty.

Ruthi, especially, wanted to do things that Dad did. Daddy taught Ruthi how to whittle when she was just five or six years old, so she and Dad would sit on the front step and whittle together. Yeah, I know you're SUPPOSED to keep sharp objects away from children but when it's Ruthi and Dad...there was no stopping those two.

There's pictures of Ruthi and I in my crib when I was a baby. Pictures of Ruthi and I in matching outfits at various ages. Family pictures. We were "The Dawson Girls" through and through.

Ruthi and Sudie...Sudie and Ruthi...how does one explain the phenomenon of "the Dawson girls"?

We're not alike physically...she's lost a lot of weight and I think she gave it to me. (THANKS, dear sister...) She keeps her hair short and I am constantly growing mine out in one way or another. As children, she had ULTRA long hair and mine was about two inches past my shoulders. Our facial features show we're from the same general gene pool, but I don't think we look alike at all.

But people keep mixing us up. She's forever asked about singing (and she can sing, but she's just as adept at piano and saxophone), and I'm often told how beautiful my children are. It does get frustrating when the person asking the question should know better. I remember one time when a lady (one I didn't like too well) asked me if I was still working as a nurse.

I said, "I'm not a nurse."

She asked, "Well, which one ARE you?" As if I'm a set of towels, no less...no individuality there.

I answered, "The other one," and walked away, leaving HER to figure it out.

Don't all siblings go through wanting to be individuals, yet identified as being associated with someone else? I'm sure they do...I know I do.

Growing up, I did almost all the same school activities my sister did...choir, band, drama...and played the same instruments (piano & saxophone). We had quite a few of the same teachers, and that's good and bad when growing up. As a matter of fact, my dear older sister is responsible for Washington High School students being barred from using golf carts when going through the golf unit in gym class. I didn't find this out until I went through the same unit.

While I had a few teachers say, "Please tell me you're Harold's sister," (fyi, Harold is a cousin of mine), most of them knew better and associated me wtih Ruthi.

I was jealous of her all the time. I was jealous that she was older and got to do more than I did. I was jealous when she got awards and I didn't (or if she got anything and I didn't). It didn't occur to me that it was OK for us to be different. I wanted to be different but yet I didn't.

Back then, I thought I was justified in my jealousy. Now I see that it was stupid, and it messed up our sisterly relationship. It's better than it was, but not as good as it could be, and it's my fault.

My sister is a good person. She and I still bicker and quarrel on a regular basis, but she's exemplary.

She's a mother of three wonderful children who have to go through "Whose sister are you? Whose brother are you?" stuff, in addition to the two younger kids being fraternal twins. She works hard at teaching her children good values. She keeps the lines of communication open with them, and knows every one of their friends' names. Heck, she's got a MySpace, and her kids' friends all leave messages for "Mamma Ruth". That's one of the greatest gifts in the world, I think...to have a passel of kids calling you Mamma, and not all of them are your own.

Ruthi is also smart, funny, and a very creative person. She's a good cook, a great knitter, and still keeps up with musical pursuits. She is one of those people who would break her back to help a friend...she gives of herself freely. Sometimes I worry that she gives too freely and she ignores her own well-being, but I guess that's where Dad's personality manifests itself in her.

I'm glad I got my head out of my a$$ soon enough to see what a great person I have in my sister. Maybe those lovely folks who set up the "sibling slam" ring will also be fortunate...but I doubt it.

Me wuv u Ruthi...