“Good night Jennifer” “Good night mom, wink wink”
“Good night Michael” “Good night mom, wink wink”
“Good night Kimbugs” “Good night mom, wink wink”
It was the nightly passing of good night wishes, kisses, and wink winks.
Three sets of feet would trudge up the sixteen steps to their bedrooms. The first set always slippered, the second socked, and the third always bare, lest any seams hit my toes.
We’d part ways at the top of the stairs. Mike would go right, we girls would steam straight ahead into our yellow twin bedded room. My dad painted it without any consult. He said yellow was sunshine and two girls needed sunshine to wake up to. I would of course have chosen pink and my sister would have insisted in her grown up way that it be blue. An argument of epic proportions would have ensued with her being the victor and me holding a grudge like no other. It’s possible dad was on to something.
My sister being five years more than my five would gracefully dive over my bed to land into hers. In my mind she was the most wonderful, most caring, best big sister in the world. Nope, in the UNIVERSE. I saw her through the rose colored glasses that young sisters see their big sisters before they know any better.
We would settle into our beds and I would whisper so loudly my brother would bang on the wall to holler, “knock it off knucklehead.” and my sister would humour me for a few minutes and then tell me to close my eyes. I would drift off to dreamland wishing I could be like her and wondering when she would find that Barbie doll I drew on and hid under her bed in the waaaaaaay back in a box and if she would understand that I was just trying to make her prettier by adding even more pink and purple eyeshadow to her already grossly adorned face? Probably not.
This routine found itself repeating for years. I remember it well. I look back on it as a sweet memory of a time I was included in the big kids club and find the subtle tones of my big brother and big sister, kindly impatient, as very sweet. Or at least I DID.
Sometime in my twenties I was awakened to the sneaky, conniving, underhanded, devious, tricky ways of my loving brother, sister, and mother. You see, my memory ceases to grow from the moment my five-year old self drifted off to dreamland worrying about that poor devastated Barbie. The rest of the story unfolds in its ghastly way: once my sister was sure that I was indeed off to the land of dreams, she would poke me and prod me and whisper loudly in my ear. If I did not respond, she would knock on the wall to send a message to my scoundrel of a brother. The two partners in deception would then sneak back downstairs to enjoy hours of which I can only assume were full of decadence as the two of them would be around the kitchen table with my mother eating ice cream, playing games, and watching Mr. Rogers.
As I learned of this treachery to my five-year old self twenty years after the fact, I confess that I did not feel sorry for that particular Barbie any longer.
Or the many that followed her.