Thirty-three years ago, about this time of year, my parents sat me down and told me that I’d be getting something in February or so and to guess what it’d be. Something that warranted sitting down in that atmosphere had to be really big. Huge. The fulfilment of all my 10-year-old dreams. “A bike?” I guessed, barely daring to hope (this was in pre-wheelchair days).
“No,” they said. “A little brother or sister.”
Whereas that was initially a bit of a disappointment – I’d been ready to move on from my wimpy little-girl bike for some time – it did turn out to be big. The biggest in my life, in fact.
The first time I met my sister, Janne, she was only hours old. Red-haired and a bit disgruntled at being made to do things (like joining the world, being gawked at, etc.), she was all long limbs and translucent skin. I was knocked arse over teakettle by a feeling I was too young to name. Later, I realized it was the fiercest love. Unreasonable, wholly unconditional, primal, it is a feeling I’ve always thought could only be repeated in my life if I ever had children of my own.
As my sister grew, everything changed and yet, some things stayed the same. Her hair grew blonder, but retained the red tinge, she still got disgruntled at being made to do things (but then, that’s very much a family trait) and the long limbs stayed with her, ensuring that I’d never be able to borrow her clothes. The love stayed, too, unmatched by any other feeling I’d ever had. Sure, we sometimes irritated the crap out of each other – you can’t be this close and not bump heads once in a while – but underneath it all, I’d still give up body parts for her.
Earlier this year, when Janne and John showed me the first video of The Tinks – as we call their twins Liam and Morgan – something happened. As I saw the little black dots the size of raisins come into view, I was rocked once again. That same, fierce love slammed into me and shows no sign of abating.
I would move mountains for them and yet, right now, all I can do is hope.
For those of you who read the comments from the belly post on the weekend, you know what Friday’s ‘Wishes’ post was about. For those of you who don’t, it was this: the Tinks are showing that the Andersen trait of being in a hurry to do everything is genetic and seem raring to get on with life. Janne is in the hospital on bed rest - already a good mother and not disgruntled one bit at being made to do this - and we’re all trying to tell the babies to be patient and wait a bit longer. Calm and happy vibes sent their way would be much appreciated.
And while you’re at it, I’ll also ask that some of those thoughts be sent to my friend John. While Janne is doing her best to nest serenely (I’ve taken to calling the unit she’s in The Chicken Coop), he's working full-time, taking care of house and (diabetic) cat, taking care of Janne – have you ever grown kids on hospital food? Can’t be done – and preparing their home for The Tinks. The man’s busy and can use some positive energy flying his way.