When I was a very grown-up age of twelve, my mother told me she was pregnant with her tenth child.
I was furious and told her so in no uncertain terms: ”You have enough children!”
I didn’t understand it then, but I was really saying that I didn’t want to be a surrogate mother to a baby about whose arrival I had not even been consulted. Of course, in my adolescent wisdom, I had no idea just how much I myself was gaining from being an older sister who, however great my ignorance may have been on any subject, was always less than those of my younger, lesser experienced siblings. So I grew up with a self-confidence that was perhaps not always due solely to my superior abilities.
My mother did have her tenth child, of course, and though I at first refused to so much as change a diaper without sulking, I eventually discovered that I have a great deal in common with my youngest sister. And among other things, we are agreed today that if one is going to be a member of a large family, being at the top or the bottom of the array is almost always less of a challenge than fighting for a separate identity as a squashed in-between.
So I am now most grateful that my mother did have her tenth child and that she is now my grown-up sister.
Thanks, Mom. She really is a gift. Just like you said.
Besides that, she’s arriving from America today for a ten-day visit. So I’m taking a break from blogging.