Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Superhero

I have had many jobs in my life. I remember making "floor shakes" when I worked at a fruit juice stand while in high school. We would pour the pitchers full of sticky, fruity concoctions onto the already sticky, dirty floor and then slide around like blind ice skating Olympians, drunk Olympians with a penchant for Orange Julius.

I loved that job. I mostly loved that every single time I had to make a chocolate banana shake that I ALWAYS made way too much. Oddly, I was not about to waste such a precious mixture (yet, I had no trouble dumping it on the floor at the end of the night for pure entertainment purposes). No judgment please . . . thank you.

I made Subway sandwiches (I was an expert bread cutter--I cut the bread like hull of a boat where the top of the bread fit like a Tupperware lid minus the burp). I taught water aerobics to senior citizens. Cranky, opinionated, invigorated--it didn't matter. It was a "Rump Shakerpalooza" and a hell of thrill to watch. As a side note, it was one of the only times in my life I wasn't self-conscious in a bathing suit. I have to admit getting a few cat calls from the over-60 set was a thrill.

Customer service, retail, teaching, technology. I have been to job hell and back. I have worked for nothing and done nearly nothing for a lot of something. I've had bosses who bossed, bosses who leered, bosses who went crazy and did things to Post It Notes that to this day I still have a hard time talking about.

Jobs. Lots of 'em. Too many . . .

Yet, the job that I loved the most. The job that I would do all over again from day one. The job that paid absolutely nothing.

Motherhood. Well, yes . . . that, too.

Sister.

I loved being a sister (even if I didn't know it then). I love it more now. Being the eldest I had an advantage that extended beyond height (that advantage is long gone as I am the "runt" of the family). I had experience, knowledge, and a driver's license.

I remember hoisting up toddlers and preschoolers on my feet and launching them onto the couch. They would slide to the floor in fits of giggles while begging for more. I lugged the three of them to the beach, piled them in my car, chased them in the backyard, and checked on each and every one of them at night, to make sure they were breathing. To make sure they were still there. We fought. Big fights. Lots of tears. Lots of wounding words. I'd give a limb to relive those moments and make them pretty, sweet, a moment a unicorn would hang a rainbow on.

But I can't. All I can do is be thankful for the moments we shared that made me look like a superhero. Yes, I said it. I loved that they saw me that way. Before they knew any better.

JR calls his little sister, Baby A, Angel. It is a name that will stick for the purposes of this blog. I love that he calls her that, even if he is just mimicking me. I love that he leans in for kisses while she hums and pushes her puckered-lipped face forward. They meet and it is magic.

I swell. They swell. He sighs, "Oh, Baby Angel" and she nuzzles her head under his chin.

He loves her. She loves him. He's her Superman.

Then he nearly chokes her as he pulls her away from the train table and the impressive track design he has so diligently been working on. She screams as she uses her head as a weapon against him, pounding it against his chest.

Sibling love. What a beautifully painful thing.

So they probably will try to kill each other on more than one occasion. I know he will profess his disdain for her and she will swear she is not related to him. I know he will probably pull her hair (when it finally grows in) and she will more than likely tattle on him for every single little thing. Hero worship will become a thing of the past.

I know it's coming. I've seen the previews.

But I know that no matter what, they will be there for each other. I hope that in the midst of teaching them love, respect, and self-defense, that I'll be able to foster a friendship that will last forever or at least until my funeral.

I'm not a superhero anymore. My siblings are all grown up. They are smart, strong, independent. They are funny, creative, talented. They can leap tall buildings . . .

You know, I just realized something. I may not be a superhero . . . but how cool is it that now I have three of my very own?

Very cool, indeed.

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Two Peas

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