A Haven for Vee

Friday, October 21, 2011

The First Meeting

Having a sister is like having a best friend you can't get rid of. You know whatever you do, she'll still be there. ~ Amy Li

The better part of two days has been spent getting packages ready to ship to my sister in New York. Her birthday is next week. Yesterday, both John and I were involved in trying to find a box or envelope large enough. In the end, the USPS couldn't help and we added another item to our growing errand list. We found the box and the envelope in the stationery aisle at W*al*M*art.

This morning as I packaged the items, little tidbits kept floating back to me. I remember the evening when I first saw my baby sister.

Let's back up  a bit shall we? My mother was an only child and my grandmother (Nan) was very protective. From my vantage point today, I think she was overprotective. She swooped in one lovely autumn afternoon and declared that my mother was very tired and that it would be better for all concerned if I went to stay with her for a while. About two weeks later, my sister was born. I remember it vaguely because I went to stay with my grandmother's neighbors so that she could travel the fifty miles or so to visit my mother and the new baby. She reported back that the baby was "bald" and "squally."

I don't recall much more except that I was growing increasingly upset about being with my grandmother instead of my mother. I cried a lot. Guess I was getting squally, too.

One day, Nan announced that I would be visiting my mother and sister. Oh such joy in the camp that day!

I remember the long drive in the late afternoon because the sun set while we were driving. We arrived at my home, my parents' small apartment, and let ourselves in. No one was there. Finally, finally, the door opened and in walked my mother carrying Bald & Squally.

I paid no attention to my sister or very little. I was not much interested, though I do remember holding her while anxious hands rested all around lest I should drop her.

What I vividly remember was my beautiful mother looking like a vision to me, wearing a navy blue dress with white polka dots, cinched in the middle with a narrow white belt. Through the miracle of the internet, I can show you a very similar dress.

Now those are the memories I have of a very special day.

What happened next? I went back to live with my grandmother for several more weeks until I became so squally that even she couldn't stand me and I was finally returned.

Do you have memories of meeting your siblings for the first time?


  1. Vee,
    This really made me smile. My sister and I have so many memories that are funny and wonderful. I think I shall have to do a post soon. I don't remember the first time I saw her but I do have some stories.

    Had deer in the yard eating apples yesterday!


  2. Oh Boy! Do I ever!! It was just two days before my birthday when suddenly I was sent to my aunts house because Mama was having a baby! I was not a happy camper.

    But then it got worse! The day of my birthday came, mama was still in the hospital with the baby and it started snowing and snowing and snowing! My aunt was going to have my party at her house and the only girl who could make it lived next door.

    I wanted a Skooter doll, Skippers friend, and my Dad came in to my aunts with a bag, he had snow all over him and the roads were a mess, but he had made it to the party. I opened the bag only to find another Skipper doll. My aunt said I threw a tantrum. My poor Dad put the doll back in the bag, drove through the storm back to town and brought back the correct doll. What a BRAT I had been.I'm still ashamed...

  3. Yup! Every time I turned around Mother was bringing home another baby (23 months apart we are) & I was having 'to do' for the older ones. Nothing like being the eldest child ... having lots of live doll baby's.

    Have a beautiful weekend ~
    TTFN ~

  4. I remember when we went to pick up Mom at the hospital when she brought home my next younger brother. I was all of about 6 or 7 years old. And I profoundly announced that I had never seen one of her babies before! She still laughs about it to this day. I was just being truthful, LOL!

  5. How sweet, being able to *flesh out* a lovely memory, with a picture. :-) And I see that your Mom wore regular clothes, after having a baby. Not some big old maternity things.

    I got something new to wear home from the hospital, each time... I had my 4. Something new and in my regular size.

    Your Mother and I come from the same generation. Did we eat in a more healthy way, back then? And not gain a ton of weight, when pregnant? Whatever, it was very nice, thinking back on it. Although is was just business-as-usual for us, then. :-)

    Nope don't remember my short-lived bro coming home. I remember our family traveling to NYC, to a special doc, for him. And when he died. But that's about all.

    Gentle hugs,
    "The goldenrod is yellow
    The corn is turning brown
    The trees in apple orchards
    With fruit are bending down."

    ~ Childrens song

  6. That was so sweet. I don't remember meeting my closest sister because she is only 11 months younger than I. She's just always been there. I remember seeing my younger sister for the first time though. I was six years old and old enough to know that there was to be a new baby. I saw her at about 3 or 4 days old and immediately fell in love - a tiny, perfect creature with red cheeks and masses of dark hair. A living doll!

  7. I am an only child so i don't have a memory to share.
    I remember my son (20 months) meeting his baby sister. He came with daddy to the maternity home to visit us and brought his new sister a daffodil he picked out of the yard. He gave her that a hug and a kiss.

  8. It's funny, I have 4 sisters and I don't really remember meeting them for the first time. It seems like they were always there and I am the second oldest....I wonder why I can't remember that!

  9. My sister is just 13 months younger than I am so I don't remember meeting her. But I do remember going to the hospital to pick up my baby brother. My dad dressed us up in our Sunday best. We had an old 1956 Pontiac, turquoise and white. My sister and I remained in the car (alone - unheard of these days - we were just 2 and 3 years old) while Dad went in to get Mom and baby brother. He was so sweet and tiny, wrapped snugly in a blanket.

  10. Like Penny...I have four younger siblings and don't remember any of my first-time meetings. Now if my mom had been wearing that dress...I might remember that! Smile.

  11. Vee
    I love your Mom's Lucy style dress.
    Boy, did they have wonderful dresses back then!
    No, I was the baby in a family of seven. So I didn't get to see anyone brought home from the hospital.I remember my neices and nephews though.

  12. I remember those dresses so well! I had to stay at my Nan's neighbor's house when my little sis was born. I was three and don't remember too much about that one. But I do remember my brother being born. Me and my sis stayed with my Nanny and Pawpaw. They wouldn't let little kids go to the hospital back then, but I remember when my brother came home with mom... in March and it SNOWED! We never get snow like that! My brother was much coddled, because he was the only boy AND the baby.
    Nanny came over and helped mom with the baby and kept me and Lisa out of her way and tried to keep us quiet so she and little brother could rest...

  13. I don't blame you for being squally, being kept away from your mother and home for so long. I was a middle child and don't really remember my younger brother being brought home. But I do remember, since I was the only girl in the family, crying when my mother announced that my first cousin born was a boy! I so wanted a girl in the family, but never got her until I had my own daughter.
    Have a wonderful weekend!

  14. Cute story...I am the baby of three girls, so I have no story to share! :)


  15. OH Vee. .how old were you? That sounds like a story I am glad now I don't have.
    I was the last but not least since I was the only girl and had four older brothers. Life seemed rather ideal but boy did I ever bother my mother to give me a sister. It went on and on and it must have driven her crazy.
    The closest I got in those days was 7 years later with the arrival of my first sister in law who also was the youngest girl in her family and wasn't particularly intersted in having a baby sister. We love each other to death now.
    I then really hoped for daughters.. .and that didn't happen.
    I do have 3 grandgirlies now. .and I feel I earned them. :)

  16. Oh, yes! I was staying with my grandparents until Mother and baby brother came home. They took me to see him. Mother was holding him in her (and Daddy's) bed. I thought he was okay, but everyone had been telling me that my parents didn't need me any longer because they had a new baby. I knew my grandparents loved me so I just wanted to go back home with them. Now my brother and I are all grown up with grandchildren of our own. I know there are a lot of others who think they've got the best brother, but I think I've got the best!!

  17. First love your new "do!" It's fab! And you certainly can paint a picture - loved hearing the story. I don't remember Chuck coming home at all. Hmmm...maybe I've re-pressed it:) I loved being the center of attention.

    Enjoy your weekend!

  18. I don't remember meeting my sister but do remember staying with my grandmother while she was in the hospital and peeking in her bottom drawer to see that the embroidered hankies we had wrapped up for my mom were still there. I still have the chest of drawers! My youngest sister was born when I was nine and I remember going to the baby shower before she was born. My mom was dressed in a beautiful two piece Chinese style maternity top and skirt with a mandarin collar. I remember bringing my baby sister into my bed each morning. She was so sweet and little then. You've started a chain of memories for us Vee - thanks!

  19. What a wonderful story! I could imagine it...even though I don't really have memories of my sister coming home from the hospital. MY sister's birthday is next week and she is 2 1/2 years younger than me. I put her together a 'favorite things' package this year. It's fun to pack pretty things up for your sister, isn't it? My package included an old pixie (elf) in it...it's one of her favorite things! Memories....ahhhh! thanks for sharing! Hugs! Diane PS I love your new profile pic! Your hair is doing great! ♥

  20. I remember my younger brother being held up to a special window a the hospital so that siblings could see the new baby. We certainly weren't allowed inside! I remember saying "That's him?" I guess I wasn't too impressed. Poor kid. :)


  21. Hi Vee,
    Gee I loved your story. My mom had a similar dress which she wore with navy and white spectators. She always looked so lovely.

    I was eight years old when my first sister was born. I desperately wanted siblings like all my friends. So I used to fib and tell people I had six brothers and sisters. I couldn't wait for Susan to be born. My mom bought me a Coach carriage just like hers and we used to walk our babies together around the block.

    I just was so frustrated because I wanted to play with her and that took forever for her to grow.

    Have a beautiful weekend.


    P.S. Happy Birthday to your sister.

  22. What great memories Vee!! I loved hearing all of it.

    I was the youngest but I have such fabulous memories of my sweet big sister Nancy. She was 13 years my senior and I loved everything about her. We shared a bedroom, poor Nancy! But she was a dear. She would get up early on Saturday mornings to have tea parties with me and made a scrapbook of all my 1st grade school papers. She was like a 2nd Mom to me. My Mother was busy working but Nancy made me a part of her life, always. I miss her so much.

    Big hugs,Sherry

  23. Isn't it funny how much things have changed. I remember being shipped off when my little sister was born too. Today everyone seems to go right into the dilivery room. I do like your story. It brought back many memories for me. I also love your blog header. Beautiful! I hope you are having a happy Autumn. Many blessings to you, John, and your sister.

  24. Oh what sweet memories the dress brought back to me. I remember my mother wearing dresses so similar.

    I love your story!!!! ....

    I was the baby of the family. The story I grew up hearing was my 5 year old brother standing outside, and seeing an airplane fly over, and he ask if it was bringing the baby to the hospital, where mother was at the time.

  25. I remember being taken to an aunt and uncles in the middle of the night and wondering what was happening. Later that day my uncle let me play with his coveted poker chips and my aunt invited me into her art studio. The smell of oil paints will always remind me of Aunt Jeanie. And then my brother rode in my lap on the ride home from the hospital.

  26. I am the hird of four children. I was 9 when my baby brother was born. He was born a few days before Halloween and I remember feeling very grown up as I skipped going Trick or Treat to help my Dad get the house ready for my Mom and brother. I was so excited to meet my brother as I loved babies and always wanted my Mom to have a baby. I used to take care of him quite a bit --he was like a big doll to me :)

    Happy birthday to your sister!

  27. I loved your story! I am the youngest of 4 girls, so no memories of greeting the new kid on the block. My son, however, has given us 4 gkids, and each time I enjoyed the reaction of the older siblings!
    When the oldest was told she had a brother, she yelled, "But I ordered a sister!" :) No sending them back!

    Hope your little sister, my neighbor here on L.I. enjoys her gift!

  28. I only had an older brother, but my mom often relates the story of when my three year old brother met me and was told my name was Jill. He immediately objected to the name, saying he liked Humpty Dumpty better.

    Seems he had a child's record with the song Jack and Jill on one side and Humpty Dumpty on the other! I am just glad my parents stuck to their guns and didn't take his preference into consideration!

  29. OH! What a story. I'm wondering what all was going through your impressionable little mind during that separation period. Makes me sad. Though the occasion was happy, one little person's feelings were not highly considered during the decision making process.

    I do remember my Daddy coming home from the hospital when my Mom had given birth to Trish. He called all three of us older siblings around and while he sat, taking his shoes off, to relax after a long day at the hospital, he told us of our beautiful "little" baby sister. Whenever our Dad spoke, it seemed to be of the utmost importance, so we felt like we'd been given the news of a lifetime. She has been adored by all.


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